Specifying colors by name Web Designing

Colors can also be identified by one of 140 color names originally developed for the X Window System. The complete list appears in Table (sorted alphabetically, with numerical values included) and Table (grouped by hue).

To set the background color to a dark olive green using a color name, the complete HTML tag would look like this:

<BODY BGCOLOR="darkolivegreen">

Grays
There are also one hundred variants of gray numbered 1 through 100. "Gray1" is the darkest; "gray100" is the lightest. The color we generally think of as "gray" is roughly equivalent to "gray75." Both spellings "gray" and "grey" are acceptable.

Color Name Cautions
There are several pitfalls to using color names instead of numerical color values:

Browser support
Color names are supported only by Navigator Versions 2.0 and higher and Internet Explorer Versions 3.0 and higher. Internet Explorer 2.0 supports the following 16 color names:

aqua gray navy silver black green olive teal blue lime purple white fuchsia maroon red yellow

These are also the only color names specified by the W3C in the HTML 4.01 Specification.

Color shifting
Of the 140 color names, only 10 represent nondithering colors from the web palette. They are aqua, black, blue, cyan, fuchsia, lime, magenta, red, white, and yellow. When viewed on an 8-bit display, the remaining 130 colors shift to their nearest web palette equivalent (or system palette color). In many cases, the difference is drastic. Many of the pastels shift to solid white.

The "Nearest Web-safe Color" column in Table lists the color that will actually be displayed for each color name on an 8-bit display.

Table: Color names with their numeric values

Color names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric valuesColor names with their numeric values

These color names shift to the nearest Mac system palette color when viewed on a Macintosh using any browser except Netscape Navigator 4.0 (which shifts it to the nearest web palette color).

Table: Web color names by hue

Web color names by hue

Coloring Page Elements

Table lists the HTML elements for which you can specify a color.

Coloring Page Elements

Similarly, color can be applied to elements on a web page using Cascading Style Sheet properties. The CSS1 properties that take color values are listed in Table.

Table: CSS1 properties for specifying color

CSS1 properties for specifying color


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