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# Using Colors in HTML Documents

Monday, February 27, 2012

In HTML, colors are displayed by the browser by using a combination of Red, Green, and Blue light. These colors are defined using a hexadecimal notation (HEX) for the combination of Red, Green, and Blue color values (RGB). An RGB color space can be understood by considering it as all possible colors that can be made from variants of red, green and blue. Consider the example of shining red, green, and blue lights together onto a white wall, each with dimmer switches. If only the blue light is on, the wall will look blue. If the red and green lights are on together, the wall will look yellow. Applying more intensity of one or more colors and less of another will produce different results. In the case of RGB, each color has a value of 0 to 255. Therefore, having 256 values for 3 colors, we can make a total of 16,777,216 different colors. When we express these colors using HEX notation, we use 2 digits for each color (#RRGGBB). In HEX notation, each digit holds up to 16 values, 0-F. Two digits (16 to the power of 2) provides us with the 256 values we need to represent each color. For example, to display a black color, the HEX value is #000000. To display a white color, the HEX value is #FFFFFF.

## HTML Colors

Here is an example of the 16 basic colors defined in the HTML 4.01 specification (Section 6.5)

ColorNameHEXRGB
White#FFFFFF255,255,255
Silver#C0C0C0192,192,192
Gray#808080128,128,128
Black#0000000,0,0
Red#FF0000255,0,0
Maroon#800000128,0,0
Yellow#FFFF00255,255,0
Olive#808000128,128,0
Lime#00FF000,255,0
Green#0080000,128,0
Aqua#00FFFF0,255,255
Teal#0080800,128,128
Blue#0000FF0,0,255
Navy#0000800,0,128
Fuchsia#FF00FF255,0,255
Purple#800080128,0,128

ColorHEXRGB
#000000 0,0,0
#080808 8,8,8
#101010 16,16,16
#181818 24,24,24
#202020 32,32,32
#282828 40,40,40
#303030 48,48,48
#383838 56,56,56
#404040 64,64,64
#484848 72,72,72
#505050 80,80,80
#585858 88,88,88
#606060 96,96,96
#686868 104,104,104
#707070 112,112,112
#787878 120,120,120
#808080 128,128,128
#888888 136,136,136
#909090 144,144,144
#989898 152,152,152
#A0A0A0 160,160,160
#A8A8A8 168,168,168
#B0B0B0 176,176,176
#B8B8B8 184,184,184
#C0C0C0 192,192,192
#C8C8C8 200,200,200
#D0D0D0 208,208,208
#D8D8D8 216,216,216
#E0E0E0 224,224,224
#E8E8E8 232,232,232
#F0F0F0 240,240,240
#F8F8F8 248,248,248
#FFFFFF 255,255,255

## Notes on Using Colors

Although colors can add significant value to your web pages, consider the following when including color in your documents:

• The use of HTML elements and attributes for specifying color is deprecated. You should use style sheets (CSS) to assign colors to your elements.
• If you use a background image or set the background color, then be sure to set the text color as well.