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216 Color Palette

When specifying web page colors, backgrounds, fonts and elements, you want to choose from the 216 colors that will look the same on both Windows and Mac operating systems. Web browsers can only work with the colors that are not reserved by each operating system. Since there are a total of 40 colors reserved by both operating systems, that leaves 216 colors for you to use. If you use one of the 40 colors, each system tries to approximate it with some combination of the 216 acceptable colors, which is called dithering. Unfortunately, each operating system does dithering a bit differently. The result on a web browser is likely to not be what you intended.

By using the colors in the "browser-safe palette" table below, you'll ensure that your colors will look the same on both operating systems. The table shows the hexadecimal intensity values you need to specify in the <BODY> tag for backgrounds and in the <FONT> and other tags containing color attributes. The first two hexadecimal (hex) digits are the red (R) value in the color; the second two are the green (G) value; and the third two are the blue (B) value. The six hexadecimal values create over 16 million possible colors and with a display adapter capable of providing those colors, all of them can be used.

As it happens, each RGB hex pair in the table below contains one of values: 00, 33, 66, 99, CC, or FF. Each block illustrates the effects of increasing the levels of each color. Each block of 36 colors, from top to bottom, contains a twenty percent increase in red. From left to right in each box, the amount of green is increased by twenty percent. From top to bottom in each box, each block shows an increase of blue by twenty percent. The hex value you would code is superimposed on the color it produces.

Most Web page creation or HTML editors include a facility that lets you easily view and select colors for your page. You may find this table handy, however, when your editor is not accessible. Photoshop and other art creation tools now tend to include some version of this table. I also included the 16 Basic Color Table for your information as well.


The 16 Basic Colors

Color Color Name HEX Number
  Black #000000
  Red #FF0000
  Lime #00FF00
  Blue #0000CC
  Yellow #FFFF00
  Aqua #00FFFF
  Fuchsia #FF00FF
  Silver #C0C0C0
  White #FFFFFF
  Gray #808080
  Navy #000080
  Green #008000
  Olive #808000
  Teal #008080
  Purple #800080
  Maroon #800000


216 Color Browser Safe Palette

000000 003300 006600 009900 00CC00 00FF00
000033 003333 006633 009933 00CC33 00FF33
000066 003366 006666 009966 00CC66 00FF66
000099 003399 006699 009999 00CC99 00FF99
0000CC 0033CC 0066CC 0099CC 00CCCC 00FFCC
0000CC 0033FF 0066FF 0099FF 00CCFF 00FFFF

330000 333300 336600 339900 33CC00 33FF00
330033 333333 336633 339933 33CC33 33FF33
330066 333366 336666 339966 33CC66 33FF66
330099 333399 336699 339999 33CC99 33FF99
3300CC 3333CC 3366CC 3399CC 33CCCC 33FFCC
3300FF 3333FF 3366FF 3399FF 33CCFF 33FFFF

660000 663300 666600 669900 66CC00 66FF00
660033 663333 666633 669933 66CC33 66FF33
660066 663366 666666 669966 66CC66 66FF66
660099 663399 666699 669999 66CC99 66FF99
6600CC 6633CC 6666CC 6699CC 66CCCC 66FFCC
6600FF 6633FF 6666FF 6699FF 66CCFF 66FFFF

990000 993300 996600 999900 99CC00 99FF00
990033 993333 996633 999933 99CC33 99FF33
990066 993366 996666 999966 99CC66 99FF66
990099 993399 996699 999999 99CC99 99FF99
9900CC 9933CC 9966CC 9999CC 99CCCC 99FFCC
9900FF 9933FF 9966FF 9999FF 99CCFF 99FFFF

CC0000 CC3300 CC6600 CC9900 CCCC00 CCFF00
CC0033 CC3333 CC6633 CC9933 CCCC33 CCFF33
CC0066 CC3366 CC6666 CC9966 CCCC66 CCFF66
CC0099 CC3399 CC6699 CC9999 CCCC99 CCFF99

FF0000 FF3300 FF6600 FF9900 FFCC00 FFFF00
FF0033 FF3333 FF6633 FF9933 FFCC33 FFFF33
FF0066 FF3366 FF6666 FF9966 FFCC66 FFFF66
FF0099 FF3399 FF6699 FF9999 FFCC99 FFFF99

216 Color Browser Safe Palette

You Can Also Learn Some Basic Web Design By Reading: Basic HTML Tags And Their Meaning


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