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20 Colors for PC Compatibility
From TBTF for 1995-10-30





Stop Press
Note added 1996-02-28: The advice on the remainder of this page has been superseded by a more complete solution. See the Browser Safe palette page for a cogent discussion of the problem. It comes from the new book Designing Web Graphics (ISBN 1-56205-532, New Riders, $50.00 USA / $68.95 Canada) by Lynda Weinman <lynda@lynda.com>. Using this 216-color palette offers the best available color compromise among platforms. See the author's charts that catalogue the 216 colors by hue and by value.


Macintosh and Windows use color tables in fundamentally different ways. eblawler@iglou.com (Elizabeth Lawler) writes:

>> Is there a standard set of colors that display the same in Mac or Win-
>> dows? I had created a background color... that made text unreadable by
>> Windows users, and it had to be turned back to gray.

The best answer came from David Holzgang (for whom I could not find an email address), who has written a book about HTML publishing using the Macintosh, forthcoming from Ventana Press: HTML Publishing on the Internet for Macintosh (ISBN 1-56604-228-3).

> This is a common problem on the Net... Windows uses an 8-bit (256) color
> palette for its displays, no matter what the screen device may be. It
> reserves 20 colors in its palette for the system, and changes the other
> colors based on the currently active window... The Mac only reserves two
> colors (Black and White)... The trick to making your colors come out OK
> across all platforms is to use ju-jitsu on Windows -- by sticking to the
> base 20 colors. Here is a list of these 20 colors, including their RGB
> values in both decimal and hexadecimal (used by Netscape's color HTML
> extensions).

                    --- RGB Values ---
Color            Decimal           Hex

Black            0,0,0             00,00,00
Dark Red         128,0,0           80,00,00
Dark Green       0,128,0           00,80,00
Dark Yellow      128,128,0         80,80,00
Dark Blue        0,0,128           00,00,80
Dark Magenta     128,0,128         80,00,80
Dark Cyan        0,128,128         00,80,80
Light Gray       192,192,192       C0,C0,C0
Grass Green      192,220,192       C0,DC,C0
Light Blue       166,202,240       A6,CA,F0
Cream            255,251,240       FF,FB,F0
Medium Gray      160,160,164       A0,A0,A4
Dark Gray        128,128,128       80,80,80
Red              255,0,0           FF,00,00
Green            0,255,0           00,FF,00
Blue             0,0,255           00,00,FF
Yellow           255,255,0         FF,FF,00
Magenta          255,0,255         FF,00,FF
Cyan             0,255,255         00,FF,FF
White            255,255,255       FF,FF,FF

[ TBTF for 1995-10-30 | TBTF for 1996-02-27 ]