Web colors are used in Web design on the World Wide Web, and the methods for describing and specifying those colors. Colors may be specified as an RGB triplet or in hexadecimal format (a hex triplet) or according to their common English names in some cases. A color tool or other graphics software is often used to generate color values. In some uses, hexadecimal color codes are specified with notation using a leading number sign (#).
Colors outside the sRGB gamut can be specified in Cascading Style Sheets by making one or more of the red, green and blue components negative or greater than 100%, so the color space is theoretically an unbounded extrapolation of sRGB similar to scRGB. Specifying a non-sRGB color this way requires the RGB() function call; it is impossible with the hexadecimal syntax (and thus impossible in legacy HTML documents that do not use CSS).
The first versions of Mosaic and Netscape Navigator used the X11 color names as the basis for their color lists, as both started as X Window System applications. Web colors have an unambiguous colorimetric definition, sRGB, which relates the chromaticity of a particular phosphor set, a given transfer curve, adaptive whitepoint, and viewing conditions.Digital Color Imaging Handbook By Gaurav Sharma. These have been chosen to be similar to many real-world Computer monitor and viewing conditions, in order to allow rendering to be fairly close to the specified values even without color management. vary in the fidelity with which they represent the specified colors. More advanced user agents use color management to provide better color fidelity; this is particularly important for Web-to-print applications.
If any one of the three color values is less than 10 hex (16 decimal), it must be represented with a leading zero so that the triplet always has exactly six digits. For example, the decimal triplet 4, 8, 16 would be represented by the hex digits 04, 08, 10, forming the hex triplet 040810.
The number of colors that can be represented by this system is 166 or 2563 or 224 = 16,777,216.
This shorthand form reduces the palette to 4,096 colors, equivalent of 12-bit color as opposed to 24-bit color using the whole six-digit form (16,777,216 colors), this limitation is sufficient for many text based documents.
Conversion between number bases is a common feature of calculators, including both hand-held models and the software calculators bundled with most modern . Web-based tools specifically for converting color values are also available.
The list of colors shipped with the X11 product varies between implementations and clashes with certain of the HTML names such as green. X11 colors are defined as simple RGB (hence, no particular color space), rather than sRGB. This means that the list of colors found in X11 (e.g., in /usr/lib/X11/rgb.txt) should not directly be used to choose colors for the web.
The list of web "X11 colors" from the CSS3 specification, along with their hexadecimal and decimal equivalents, is shown below. Compare the alphabetical lists in the W3C standards. This includes the common synonyms: aqua (HTML4/CSS 1.0 standard name) and cyan (common sRGB name), magenta (common sRGB name) and fuchsia (HTML4/CSS 1.0 standard name), gray (HTML4/CSS 1.0 standard name) and grey.
There were various attempts to make a "standard" color palette. A set of colors was needed that could be shown without dithering on 256-color displays; the number 216 was chosen partly because computer operating systems customarily reserved sixteen to twenty colors for their own use; it was also selected because it allows exactly six equally spaced shades of red, green, and blue (6 × 6 × 6 = 216), each from 00 to FF (including both limits).
The list of colors is presented as if it had special properties that render them immune to dithering, but on 256-color displays applications can actually set a palette of any selection of colors that they choose, dithering the rest. These colors were chosen specifically because they matched the palettes selected by various browser applications. There were not very different palettes in use in different browsers.
"Web-safe" colors had a flaw in that, on systems such as X11 where the palette is shared between applications, smaller color cubes (5×5×5 or 4×4×4) were allocated by browsers—the "web safe" colors would dither on such systems. Different results were obtained by providing an image with a larger range of colors and allowing the browser to quantize the color space if needed, rather than suffer the quality loss of a double quantization.
The "web-safe" colors do not all have standard names, but each can be specified by an RGB triplet: each component (red, green, and blue) takes one of the six values from the following table (out of the 256 possible values available for each component in full 24-bit color).
|+ 6 shades of each color ! scope="col"||Key ! scope="col"||Hex ! scope="col"||Decimal ! scope="col"||Fraction|
|C or (12)||CC||204||0.8|
|F or (15)||FF||255||1|
The following table shows all of the "web-safe" colors. One shortcoming of the web-safe palette is its small range of light colors for webpage backgrounds, whereas the intensities at the low end of the range, such as the two darkest, are similar to each other, making them hard to distinguish.
|Safest web colors|
In CSS 2.1, the color 'orange' (one of the 140) was added to the section with the 16 HTML4 colors as a 17th color. The CSS3.0 specification did not include orange in the "HTML4 color keywords" section, which was renamed as "Basic color keywords". In the same reference, the "SVG color keywords" section, was renamed "Extended color keywords", after starting out as "X11 color keywords" in an earlier working draft. The working draft for the CSS4 color module combines the Basic and Extended sections together in a simple "Named Colors" section. CSS Color Module Level 4 Editor’s Draft, 26 June 2014
CSS 2, SVG and CSS 2.1 allow web authors to use system colors, which are color names whose values are taken from the operating system, picking the operating system's highlighted text color, or the background color for tooltip controls. This enables web authors to style their content in line with the operating system of the user agent. The CSS3 color module has deprecated the use of system colors in favor of CSS3 UI System Appearance property, which itself was subsequently dropped from CSS3.
On 21 June 2014, the CSS WG added the color RebeccaPurple to the Editor's Draft of the CSS4 Colors module, to commemorate Eric Meyer's daughter Rebecca who died on 7 June 2014, her sixth birthday.
Either no colors should be specified (to invoke the browser's default colors), or both the background and all foreground colors (such as the colors of plain text, unvisited links, hovered links, active links, and visited links) should be specified to avoid black on black or white on white effects.
However, addressing accessibility concerns is not simply a matter of increasing the contrast ratio. As a report to the Web Accessibility Initiative indicates, Optimal Colors to Improve Readability for People with Dyslexia dyslexic readers are better served by contrast ratios below the maximum. The recommendations they refer to of off-black (0x0A0A0A) on off-white (0xFFFFE5) and black (0x000000) on creme (0xFAFAC8) have contrast ratios of 11.7:1 and 20.3:1 respectively. Among their other color pairs, brown (0x282800) on dark green (0xA0A000) has a contrast ratio of 3.24:1, which is less than the WCAG recommendation, dark brown (0x1E1E00) on light green (0xB9B900) has a contrast ratio of 4.54:1 and blue (0x00007D) on yellow (0xFFFF00) has a contrast ratio of 11.4:1. Notice that the colors named in the report use different color values than the web colors of the same name.