Web Colors

The following table shows all colors from the "web-safe" colors. Please note that your hardware may not display all the colors. An explanation of the table is below.

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


The 6-character string in each cell of the table is the color identifier. In some of the very dark colors, you may not be able to read the characters, but you should easily be able to figure out the identifier from the pattern in the identifier strings: Each identier is 6 characters long. The first two characters represent the intensity of the red component of the color, the second two characters represent the intensity of the green component of the color, and the third two characters represent the intensity of the blue component of the color.

There are 6 possible values for the different intensities: 00, 33, 66, 99, cc, and ff (in order of increasing value). Thus the color "ffffff" has the maximum intensity value for red, green, and blue -- this is a pure white. The color "000000", on the other hand, has the minimum value for each intensity, and represents black. The color "ffcc33" has as much red as possible, a lot of green, and a little bit of blue. This gives a light orange color.

Every possible combination of the six intensities is presented, giving a total of 6 x 6 x 6, or 216, colors.

The table is arranged in 6 blocks. Each block represents a particular "red" value, and the first block is all colors with the maximum amount of red (red=ff). Within each block, the leftmost edge is the maximum blue value (blue=ff), and the top row has the maximum green value (green=ff).

History of Web-Safe Colors

The notion of "web-safe colors" came from the early days of netscape. Back then most displays had a fairly restricted set of colors available, and the set of colors available varied from display to display. This was a real problem for early web designers, because you could pick a set of colors that looked great on your display, but looked terrible on a different display.

Netscape picked a set of 216 colors that they felt they could support on most platforms, and advertised those colors as the "web-safe" colors, and the notion has become a de-facto standard.

However, the term "web-safe colors" is a bit misleading, because setting a software standard does not change hardware, and in fact, the actual colors displayed by "web-safe colors" varies significantly from platform to platform. Even so, they do offer one very important advantage: when a web browser displays a "web-safe" color, it does make an attempt to optimize the display for that color. Web-safe colors tend to be pure colors, and as close as possible to the abstract notion of what the color is supposed to be. Consequently, given a choice, web designers always use them.