Re: exhaustive list of hex colors for HTML?

by "Paul Wilson" <webgooru(at)>

 Date:  Tue, 24 Apr 2001 10:17:30 -0400
 To:  "Timothy Luoma" <luomat+lists+hwg(at)>,
 References:  associatetim
  todo: View Thread, Original
> I have what I thought was a list of all the legal HEX codes for HTML
> colors at
> However, it was brought to my attention the other day that there are
> others that I do not have there.
> Does someone know of a complete list somewhere online?

This whole thing is a myth, or at least a problem that has pretty much gone
away over the years.

<.grouse mode>

 Back when Netscape introduced the websafe colors concept, there was really
only one popular browser - Netscape.  Since I.E. has became so popular in
the past two years the scene has drastically changed.  I.E.'s 256 websafe
colors use a different pallet set than Netscape.

For years I was confused by Corel Draw which shows a different pallet for
Netscape than it does for I.E.  If you look at the colors in either pallet
set, you would have to decide they are both pretty ugly.

Recently I found my answer from a magazine ( which I wish I kept ). Between
the two browsers you get down to about 140 colors that are shared by both
pallets and it is a very hideous mish-mash of colors that are unsuitable for
web design.  If you add the two most popular Mac browser pallets to this mix
you end up with about 10 colors that are safe across the most popular

Most articles about web safe colors say "and all other browsers adopted the
same colors.  When did Micro$oft EVER adopt any one else's standards?  This
statement is patently wrong and this is the myth that is pervaded.

Back when Netscape originally thought up the concept, it was important
because many video cards in existence had 512K or 1 meg of video memory. 256
colors was a conservative concept that worked in the early 90's.  It was
decided that everyone could handle 256 colors in the 640 X 480 viewing mode.

Today you can't buy a video card like that.  Well over 95% of the computing
public is capable of handling 64,000 or 16 million colors.  Why should we
continue to design WebSites with ugly colors because a few percent of the
people insist on surfing the net with a 386 computer at 2400 baud.

Another problem is the difference in video cards and monitor settings.  You
can create a websafe image in Teal and when you show it to a client it can
appear as Hunter Green because of his settings or equipment.  Staying within
the web safe colors won't help you if his system is adjusted different than
yours.  Ever try to explain this to a client.  They are real happy when you
try explaining that their equipment is to blame.  They then ask about what
their customer has and by then everyone forgets why you are even there.

AOL is a real problem here.  Out of the box their website converts anything
you send to 256 colors unless you change your default settings.  Guess what?
It ain't the 256 Netscape colors.  I have seen AOL trash a lot of GIF's
because of this.

Ever convert a highcolor photo to colorsafe GIF?  I have used Corel Paint,
PSP and even PS and it just isn't the same image.  It is not usable to me.
Images that are important end up a JPG's and are optimized for speed, not
256 colors.

This whole color thing really kills me.  We need color standards that work
on all monitors and video cards.   This is an area the W3C has really fallen
done on the job.  PGP was supposed to help some, but it's not been adopted
well enough.

If you want correct color you have to get a Mac.  But what good does that do
in a PC world where everyone is more concerned with 3D speed than they are
good colors.

I seem to have painted myself into a corner here.  HELP!

<./grouse mode>

Paul Wilson

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