HTML Colours

All colours that can be displayed on a computer screen are created by combining three primary colours, namely red, green and blue (RGB) in different ratios. The intensity of each colour is specified by a number between 0 and 255, where 0 represents zero intensity and 255 represents full intensity. The colour value is usually represented as three pairs of hexadecimal digits, prefixed with a hash character (#). Each pair of hexadecimal digits is one byte (8 bits), and represents one of the three RGB colours (the ordering is R:G:B). If the intensity of all three colours (R, G and B) is 255 (or FF, expressed as a hexadecimal number), the colour produced is white (#FFFFFF). If all three colours are set to intensity = 0 (00 as a two-digit hex number), the colour produced is black (#000000). Note that for any colour other than black or white, if all three RGB values are equal, the result will be some shade of grey. The total number of colours that can be created using this scheme is 16,581,375 (255³) – the maximum number that can be created using 3 bytes (24 bits). Some basic colours are shown below together with their hexadecimal representation and the decimal values for each of the red, green and blue components.



Basic RGB Colours
ColourHex ValueRGB Value
  #000000 0,0,0
  #FF0000 255,0,0
  #00FF00 0,255,0
  #0000FF 0,0,255
  #FFFF00 255,255,0
  #00FFFF 0,255,255
  #FF00FF 255,0,255
  #FFFFFF 255,255,255

Most modern computers have graphics adapter cards and monitors that are capable of displaying 24-bit colour (your operating system may refer to it as 32-bit colour, but only 24 bits are actually required).


Web safe colours

The personal computers of the early 1980s were limited in the number of colours they could display simultaneously, due to the limitations of the graphic adapter cards used. During these early years, most graphic adapter cards could support only 8-bit colour, which limited them to 256 (2^8) colours. For this reason, a list of "Web-safe" colours was devised that essentially defined a 256-colour standard palette which included the 216 standard colours illustrated below. The other 40 places were reserved for fixed system colours. The general idea was that all computers would display the colours in web pages correctly when operating at a colour-depth of 8 bits. This is obviously somewhat irrelevant today, as virtually all modern computers can display millions of colours, even at very high resolutions.



Web-safe Colours
#FFFFFF #FFFFCC #FFFF99 #FFFF66 #FFFF33 #FFFF00
#FFCCFF #FFCCCC #FFCC99 #FFCC66 #FFCC33 #FFCC00
#FF99FF #FF99CC #FF9999 #FF9966 #FF9933 #FF9900
#FF66FF #FF66CC #FF6699 #FF6666 #FF6633 #FF6600
#FF33FF #FF33CC #FF3399 #FF3366 #FF3333 #FF3300
#FF00FF #FF00CC #FF0099 #FF0066 #FF0033 #FF0000
#CCFFFF #CCFFCC #CCFF99 #CCFF66 #CCFF33 #CCFF00
#CCCCFF #CCCCCC #CCCC99 #CCCC66 #CCCC33 #CCCC00
#CC99FF #CC99CC #CC9999 #CC9966 #CC9933 #CC9900
#CC66FF #CC66CC #CC6699 #CC6666 #CC6633 #CC6600
#CC33FF #CC33CC #CC3399 #CC3366 #CC3333 #CC3300
#CC00FF #CC00CC #CC0099 #CC0066 #CC0033 #CC0000
#99FFFF #99FFCC #99FF99 #99FF66 #99FF33 #99FF00
#99CCFF #99CCCC #99CC99 #99CC66 #99CC33 #99CC00
#9999FF #9999CC #999999 #999966 #999933 #999900
#9966FF #9966CC #996699 #996666 #996633 #996600
#9933FF #9933CC #993399 #993366 #993333 #993300
#9900FF #9900CC #990099 #990066 #990033 #990000
#66FFFF #66FFCC #66FF99 #66FF66 #66FF33 #66FF00
#66CCFF #66CCCC #66CC99 #66CC66 #66CC33 #66CC00
#6699FF #6699CC #669999 #669966 #669933 #669900
#6666FF #6666CC #666699 #666666 #666633 #666600
#6633FF #6633CC #663399 #663366 #663333 #663300
#6600FF #6600CC #660099 #660066 #660033 #660000
#33FFFF #33FFCC #33FF99 #33FF66 #33FF33 #33FF00
#33CCFF #33CCCC #33CC99 #33CC66 #33CC33 #33CC00
#3399FF #3399CC #339999 #339966 #339933 #339900
#3366FF #3366CC #336699 #336666 #336633 #336600
#3333FF #3333CC #333399 #333366 #333333 #333300
#3300FF #3300CC #330099 #330066 #330033 #330000
#00FFFF #00FFCC #00FF99 #00FF66 #00FF33 #00FF00
#00CCFF #00CCCC #00CC99 #00CC66 #00CC33 #00CC00
#0099FF #0099CC #009999 #009966 #009933 #009900
#0066FF #0066CC #006699 #006666 #006633 #006600
#0033FF #0033CC #003399 #003366 #003333 #003300
#0000FF #0000CC #000099 #000066 #000033 #000000


Web colour names

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines sixteen official colour names for use with HTML and CSS in the HTML 4.01 specification. The colour names defined therein are taken from the Windows VGA palette, and are also referred to in the CSS1 and CSS2 specifications. It is recommended that for colours other than the ones shown below, you should specify the colour’s hex value.



Official W3C Colour Names
ColourNameHex Value
   Black #000000
   Silver #C0C0C0
   Gray #808080
   White #FFFFFF
   Maroon #800000
   Red #FF0000
   Purple #800080
   Fuchsia #FF00FF
   Green #008000
   Lime #00FF00
   Olive #808000
   Yellow #FFFF00
   Navy #000080
   Blue #0000FF
   Teal #008080
   Aqua #00FFFF


Cross-browser colour names

Despite the fact that the W3C have limited the number of officially named colours to sixteen, a collection of nearly 150 colour names are supported by all major browsers. The table below shows the colours by name in alphabetical order together with their hexadecimal representation (use of the hex values is recommended if you wish to ensure that your HTML/XHTML and CSS code will be accepted by a code validator).

Cross Browser Colour Names
AliceBlue #F0F8FF
AntiqueWhite #FAEBD7
Aqua #00FFFF
Aquamarine #7FFFD4
Azure #F0FFFF
Beige #F5F5DC
Bisque #FFE4C4
Black #000000
BlanchedAlmond #FFEBCD
Blue #0000FF
BlueViolet #8A2BE2
Brown #A52A2A
BurlyWood #DEB887
CadetBlue #5F9EA0
Chartreuse #7FFF00
Chocolate #D2691E
Coral #FF7F50
CornflowerBlue #6495ED
Cornsilk #FFF8DC
Crimson #DC143C
Cyan #00FFFF
DarkBlue #00008B
DarkCyan #008B8B
DarkGoldenRod #B8860B
DarkGray #A9A9A9
DarkGreen #006400
DarkKhaki #BDB76B
DarkMagenta #8B008B
DarkOliveGreen #556B2F
DarkOrange #FF8C00
DarkOrchid #9932CC
DarkRed #8B0000
DarkSalmon #E9967A
DarkSeaGreen #8FBC8F
DarkSlateBlue #483D8B
DarkSlateGray #2F4F4F
DarkTurquoise #00CED1
DarkViolet #9400D3
DeepPink #FF1493
DeepSkyBlue #00BFFF
DimGray #696969
DodgerBlue #1E90FF
FireBrick #B22222
FloralWhite #FFFAF0
ForestGreen #228B22
Fuchsia #FF00FF
Gainsboro #DCDCDC
GhostWhite #F8F8FF
Gold #FFD700
GoldenRod #DAA520
Gray #808080
Green #008000
GreenYellow #ADFF2F
HoneyDew #F0FFF0
HotPink #FF69B4
IndianRed #CD5C5C
Indigo #4B0082
Ivory #FFFFF0
Khaki #F0E68C
Lavender #E6E6FA
LavenderBlush #FFF0F5
LawnGreen #7CFC00
LemonChiffon #FFFACD
LightBlue #ADD8E6
LightCoral #F08080
LightCyan #E0FFFF
LightGoldenRodYellow #FAFAD2
LightGrey #D3D3D3
LightGreen #90EE90
LightPink #FFB6C1
LightSalmon #FFA07A
LightSeaGreen #20B2AA
LightSkyBlue #87CEFA
LightSlateGray #778899
LightSteelBlue #B0C4DE
LightYellow #FFFFE0
Lime #00FF00
LimeGreen #32CD32
Linen #FAF0E6
Magenta #FF00FF
Maroon #800000
MediumAquaMarine #66CDAA
MediumBlue #0000CD
MediumOrchid #BA55D3
MediumPurple #9370D8
MediumSeaGreen #3CB371
MediumSlateBlue #7B68EE
MediumSpringGreen #00FA9A
MediumTurquoise #48D1CC
MediumVioletRed #C71585
MidnightBlue #191970
MintCream #F5FFFA
MistyRose #FFE4E1
Moccasin #FFE4B5
NavajoWhite #FFDEAD
Navy #000080
OldLace #FDF5E6
Olive #808000
OliveDrab #6B8E23
Orange #FFA500
OrangeRed #FF4500
Orchid #DA70D6
PaleGoldenRod #EEE8AA
PaleGreen #98FB98
PaleTurquoise #AFEEEE
PaleVioletRed #D87093
PapayaWhip #FFEFD5
PeachPuff #FFDAB9
Peru #CD853F
Pink #FFC0CB
Plum #DDA0DD
PowderBlue #B0E0E6
Purple #800080
Red #FF0000
RosyBrown #BC8F8F
RoyalBlue #4169E1
SaddleBrown #8B4513
Salmon #FA8072
SandyBrown #F4A460
SeaGreen #2E8B57
SeaShell #FFF5EE
Sienna #A0522D
Silver #C0C0C0
SkyBlue #87CEEB
SlateBlue #6A5ACD
SlateGray #708090
Snow #FFFAFA
SpringGreen #00FF7F
SteelBlue #4682B4
Tan #D2B48C
Teal #008080
Thistle #D8BFD8
Tomato #FF6347
Turquoise #40E0D0
Violet #EE82EE
Wheat #F5DEB3
White #FFFFFF
WhiteSmoke #F5F5F5
Yellow #FFFF00
YellowGreen #9ACD32
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