# The Totally Old-School Web-Safe Color Palette

What is this page all about? An explanation is below the color chart.

Non-Dithering Colors |
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000000R0 G0 B0 |
000033R0 G0 B51 |
000066R0 G0 B102 |
000099R0 G0 B153 |
0000ccR0 G0 B204 |
0000ffR0 G0 B255 |

003300R0 G51 B0 |
003333R0 G51 B51 |
003366R0 G51 B102 |
003399R0 G51 B153 |
0033ccR0 G51 B204 |
0033ffR0 G51 B255 |

006600R0 G102 B0 |
006633R0 G102 B51 |
006666R0 G102 B102 |
006699R0 G102 B153 |
0066ccR0 G102 B204 |
0066ffR0 G102 B255 |

009900R0 G153 B0 |
009933R0 G153 B51 |
009966R0 G153 B102 |
009999R0 G153 B153 |
0099ccR0 G153 B204 |
0099ffR0 G153 B255 |

00cc00R0 G204 B0 |
00cc33R0 G204 B51 |
00cc66R0 G204 B102 |
00cc99R0 G204 B153 |
00ccccR0 G204 B204 |
00ccffR0 G204 B255 |

00ff00R0 G255 B0 |
00ff33R0 G255 B51 |
00ff66R0 G255 B102 |
00ff99R0 G255 B153 |
00ffccR0 G255 B204 |
00ffffR0 G255 B255 |

33ff00R51 G255 B0 |
33ff33R51 G255 B51 |
33ff66R51 G255 B102 |
33ff99R51 G255 B153 |
33ffccR51 G255 B204 |
33ffffR51 G255 B255 |

33cc00R51 G204 B0 |
33cc33R51 G204 B51 |
33cc66R51 G204 B102 |
33cc99R51 G204 B153 |
33ccccR51 G204 B204 |
33ccffR51 G204 B255 |

339900R51 G153 B0 |
339933R51 G153 B51 |
339966R51 G153 B102 |
339999R51 G153 B153 |
3399ccR51 G153 B204 |
3399ffR51 G153 B255 |

336600R51 G102 B0 |
336633R51 G102 B51 |
336666R51 G102 B102 |
336699R51 G102 B153 |
3366ccR51 G102 B204 |
3366ffR51 G102 B255 |

333300R51 G51 B0 |
333333R51 G51 B51 |
333366R51 G51 B102 |
333399R51 G51 B153 |
3333ccR51 G51 B204 |
3333ffR51 G51 B255 |

330000R51 G0 B0 |
330033R51 G0 B51 |
330066R51 G0 B102 |
330099R51 G0 B153 |
3300ccR51 G0 B204 |
3300ffR51 G0 B255 |

660000R102 G0 B0 |
660033R102 G0 B51 |
660066R102 G0 B102 |
660099R102 G0 B153 |
6600ccR102 G0 B204 |
6600ffR102 G0 B255 |

663300R102 G51 B0 |
663333R102 G51 B51 |
663366R102 G51 B102 |
663399R102 G51 B153 |
6633ccR102 G51 B204 |
6633ffR102 G51 B255 |

666600R102 G102 B0 |
666633R102 G102 B51 |
666666R102 G102 B102 |
666699R102 G102 B153 |
6666ccR102 G102 B204 |
6666ffR102 G102 B255 |

669900R102 G153 B0 |
669933R102 G153 B51 |
669966R102 G153 B102 |
669999R102 G153 B153 |
6699ccR102 G153 B204 |
6699ffR102 G153 B255 |

66cc00R102 G204 B0 |
66cc33R102 G204 B51 |
66cc66R102 G204 B102 |
66cc99R102 G204 B153 |
66ccccR102 G204 B204 |
66ccffR102 G204 B255 |

66ff00R102 G255 B0 |
66ff33R102 G255 B51 |
66ff66R102 G255 B102 |
66ff99R102 G255 B153 |
66ffccR102 G255 B204 |
66ffffR102 G255 B255 |

99ff00R153 G255 B0 |
99ff33R153 G255 B51 |
99ff66R153 G255 B102 |
99ff99R153 G255 B153 |
99ffccR153 G255 B204 |
99ffffR153 G255 B255 |

99cc00R153 G204 B0 |
99cc33R153 G204 B51 |
99cc66R153 G204 B102 |
99cc99R153 G204 B153 |
99ccccR153 G204 B204 |
99ccffR153 G204 B255 |

999900R153 G153 B0 |
999933R153 G153 B51 |
999966R153 G153 B102 |
999999R153 G153 B153 |
9999ccR153 G153 B204 |
9999ffR153 G153 B255 |

996600R153 G102 B0 |
996633R153 G102 B51 |
996666R153 G102 B102 |
996699R153 G102 B153 |
9966ccR153 G102 B204 |
9966ffR153 G102 B255 |

993300R153 G51 B0 |
993333R153 G51 B51 |
993366R153 G51 B102 |
993399R153 G51 B153 |
9933ccR153 G51 B204 |
9933ffR153 G51 B255 |

990000R153 G0 B0 |
990033R153 G0 B51 |
990066R153 G0 B102 |
990099R153 G0 B153 |
9900ccR153 G0 B204 |
9900ffR153 G0 B255 |

cc0000R204 G0 B0 |
cc0033R204 G0 B51 |
cc0066R204 G0 B102 |
cc0099R204 G0 B153 |
cc00ccR204 G0 B204 |
cc00ffR204 G0 B255 |

cc3300R204 G51 B0 |
cc3333R204 G51 B51 |
cc3366R204 G51 B102 |
cc3399R204 G51 B153 |
cc33ccR204 G51 B204 |
cc33ffR204 G51 B255 |

cc6600R204 G102 B0 |
cc6633R204 G102 B51 |
cc6666R204 G102 B102 |
cc6699R204 G102 B153 |
cc66cc204R204 G102 B |
cc66ff255R204 G102 B |

cc9900R204 G153 B0 |
cc9933R204 G153 B51 |
cc9966R204 G153 B102 |
cc9999R204 G153 B153 |
cc99ccR204 G153 B204 |
cc99ffR204 G153 B255 |

cccc00R204 G204 B0 |
cccc33R204 G204 B51 |
cccc66R204 G204 B102 |
cccc99R204 G204 B153 |
ccccccR204 G204 B204 |
ccccffR204 G204 B255 |

ccff00R204 G255 B0 |
ccff33R204 G255 B51 |
ccff66R204 G255 B102 |
ccff99R204 G255 B153 |
ccffccR204 G255 B204 |
ccffffR204 G255 B255 |

ffff00R255 G255 B0 |
ffff33R255 G255 B51 |
ffff66R255 G255 B102 |
ffff99R255 G255 B153 |
ffffccR255 G255 B204 |
ffffffR255 G255 B255 |

ffcc00R255 G204 B0 |
ffcc33R255 G204 B51 |
ffcc66R255 G204 B102 |
ffcc99R255 G204 B153 |
ffccccR255 G204 B204 |
ffccffR255 G204 B255 |

ff9900R255 G153 B0 |
ff9933R255 G153 B51 |
ff9966R255 G153 B102 |
ff9999R255 G153 B153 |
ff99ccR255 G153 B204 |
ff99ffR255 G153 B255 |

ff6600R255 G102 B0 |
ff6633R255 G102 B51 |
ff6666R255 G102 B102 |
ff6699R255 G102 B153 |
ff66ccR255 G102 B204 |
ff66ffR255 G102 B255 |

ff3300R255 G51 B0 |
ff3333R255 G51 B51 |
ff3366R255 G51 B102 |
ff3399R255 G51 B153 |
ff33ccR255 G51 B204 |
ff33ffR255 G51 B255 |

ff0000R255 G0 B0 |
ff0033R255 G0 B51 |
ff0066R255 G0 B102 |
ff0099R255 G0 B153 |
ff00ccR255 G0 B204 |
ff00ffR255 G0 B255 |

What does this table mean? If you're a graphic artist or an HTML veteran, it will be obvious. It's basically obsolete, but if you'd like a more detail, see below.

## Understanding Web Color

All colors on your computer are created by mixing some combination of red, green, and blue. The color displayed by each pixel is determined by the amounts of each color included in that mixture. Mix all of them at full intensity, and you get white; turn them all off, and you get a completely black pixel. The phrase "color depth" is used to describe the precision with which colors are expressed. HTML allows for the use of 24-bit color, which means that each color of that "RGB triplet" is allocated 8 bits of binary storage. That means that there are 256 possible values for the amount of red in each color, 256 values for the amount of green, and 256 for blue. Each value can range from 0 to 255. When combined, that results in a total of 16,777,216 unique colors.

If you've worked with programs like Photoshop, you've probably seen these values in the color picker. Choose black, and you'll see that it is a mixture of zero parts red, zero parts green, and zero parts blue. Choose white, and you'll see that it is a mixture of the maximum values of those three colors: Red 255, Green 255, and Blue 255. A pure blue pixel would have the maximum blue, and no red or green: Red 0, Green 0, and Blue 255. If we wanted to, we could write that color of blue as R0 G0 B255. However, computers often use a different number system (hexadecimal) to express large numbers. Compared to decimal (base 10) numbering, hexadecimal (Base 16) can store larger numbers in less space. Numbers 1 through 9 are the same in decimal and hexadecimal; but 10 through 15 are written as A, B, C, D, E, and F. Sixteen is written as 10. Thirty-one would be written as 1F in hexadecimal. If you find that a little confusing, never mind... all you really need to understand is that when you see a color specified as "ccff66," you are looking at a hexadecimal number. That number is an RGB triplet. The first two digits (cc) are the amount of red, the second two (ff) are the amount of green, and the third two (66) are the amount of blue. Written in decimal, "ccff66" would be 204 parts of red, 255 parts of green, and 102 parts of blue.

Many computers cannot display full 24-bit color. Many older systems are capable of only 8-bit color. Eight-bit color allows for a total of 256 colors. What happens when you need a color that isn't in that set of 256 colors? Usually, the program will simulate the color by "dithering." Dithering is the process of mixing different-colored pixels together to give the appearance of another color. Imagine for a moment that we needed to show an orange square, but our program didn't have orange in its color palette. We could make several little squares of red and yellow, mingle them together, and presto... we would have orange. However, our dithered orange would look a little grainy compared to a real, genuine orange square. Dithering often produces results that are less than spectacular: text can become almost unreadable, and photos and graphics can lack detail and sharpness. For that reason, may web designers want to use a color palette that will never need to be dithered. The problem, however, is that not all platforms use the same color palette. There are only 216 colors in common between the Windows and Macintosh versions of the 8-bit color set. These 216 colors are often referred to as the "browser-safe palette" or the "non-dithering palette." In this palette, there are six possible values for the intensity of each component of the RGB triplet: 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, and 100%. Six possible values for each color gives us 6x6x6 possible unique colors... that is, 216. Written in decimal, the possible values for each color are 0, 51, 102, 204, and 255. Written in hexadecimal, the possible values are 00, 33, 66, 99, cc, and ff.

For a more detailed explanation of the way color works, you might want to look at Bob Schmitt's Web Color Primer in the November 1997 issue of Webreview.com. Webreview is an excellent source for HTML authoring information.