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Certain other colors may also be valid...


TL;DR: There's at least 31 hidden cue colors in QLab beyond the available 5 and they're listed in the middle of this post.

I'm working on an app called Cue View that downloads a QLab workspace via OSC and displays it on a remote computer. (more about that) While referencing the QLab OSC dictionary, I discovered this peculiar footnote to the /cue/colorName entry:

 emphasis mine

emphasis mine


Tantalizing! If other colors are available, Cue View should probably support them. But as far as I could tell, they were not listed in QLab.app's contents or online anywhere. They're a secret.

So I had to find them myself.

Enter XKCD

Back in 2010, Randall Munroe, author of the XKCD webcomic, set up a informal online study in which he asked readers to look at a color and type in the name of that color. His results are very interesting and definitely worth checking out. He also published a list of the 949 most common responses to his survey, which is where I started.

After some quick RegEx to remove the hex codes and spaces between the words, I had a long list of colors to try. The list spanned the gamut from the obvious like "ruby" to the specific like "lipstick"


From there, AppleScript handled generating Memo cues for every entry in the text file. After deleting all unrecognized colors, I had found 20 secret cue colors on top of the 8 which were already fairly well known.


But There's More

Randall also posted an exhaustive SQL dump of around 180,000 entries, listing every color name anyone ever submitted. That includes, for example, entries by the devoted individual who attempted to post the entirety of a Monty Python script line-by-line.

Eh, why not. I went for it. It took awhile.

The final list probably includes most of the available cue color names in QLab, although I have no way of knowing for sure. Seven additional matches (Bisque, Fulvous, Glaucous, Rufous, Vermilion, Verdigris, Bastardamber) were found in the full list, bringing the total number of available colors to 34. 


Avocado, Bastardamber, Bisque, Blue, Celadon, Cerulean, Chartreuse, Coral, Ecru, Fuchsia, Fulvous, Glaucous, Green, Grey, Indigo, Lilac, Maize, Mauve, Ochre, Olive, Orange, Puce, Purple, Red, Rufous, Sage, Scarlet, Seafoamgreen, Skyblue, Taupe, Verdigris, Vermilion, Violet, Viridian, Yellow

Hidden cue colors can be assigned within QLab by using a Network cue and simply typing in the desired color name.


Additional Notes

  • "Violet" yields the same style as "None", which is the only color I've found which does so. A programming error? Or are there secret horrible horrible reasons afoot?
  • If either "None" or "Violet" are considered a color, the total number of colors becomes 35. 35 is 53 backwards. 53 is in Figure53. Figure53 makes QLab. Illuminati confirmed!
  • These colors appeared in QLab v4.1 on June 20, 2017, less than two months after Sam posted this in the QLab Google Group. 
  • Evan Cook discovered that the note about other valid colors in the OSC Dictionary was posted on the same day as v4.1, proving that the conspiracy is extremely dark and vast.
Alec Sparks