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The 16 Windows-Colors
and
their use on web pages

Copyright©2013 by Daniel B. Sedory



Primary and Complemetary Colors

RED (R), GREEN (G) and BLUE (B) are the three primary colors in what we call the RGB system of color TV or computer monitors. If you project all three of these colors against a solid black surface as three separate circles, so each circle partially intersects with the other two, you'll see what we call their complemetary colors in the resulting intersections:


The six characters following a '#' sign in the illustration above are hexadecimal representations (there's more about hex below) of the 256 possible shades of Red, Green and Blue (00 to FF for each RGB color) allowed by the HTML tags on your web pages.
Yellow (#FFFF00), which is the sum of Red and Green (FF0000 + 00FF00 = FFFF00), is the complementary color (or opposite or negation) of Blue (#0000FF). Likewise, Magenta (#FF00FF) is the sum of Red and Blue (FF0000 + 0000FF = FF00FF); the complementary color of Green (#00FF00) and Cyan (#00FFFF) is the sum of Green and Blue (00FF00 + 0000FF = 00FFFF); the complementary color of Red (#FF0000).
      Just as with real light, the sum of all the colors in RGB creates a WHITE color (#FFFFFF), and the absence of all the colors results in what we call the color BLACK (#000000).

Note that various names for the same colors may exist! What is often called Green in the monitor industry might be called Lime by the company that created your web browser. Magenta, Purple, Violet and Fuchsia might all refer to the same exact color in different contexts! Sometimes it's a matter of light intensity such as the difference between Magenta and Purple as perceived by most people's eyes, other times it's simply a matter of choice regarding words from various languages.

The Color Cube

The 16 Windows Colors

In the table below, I've tried to place complementary colors together (the color of text for the names in each square should shown up in that square's complementary or opposite color). When the common name for a color differs from that used by most web browsers, its HTML tag name will be shown in parentheses under the common name:

WHITE

FF FF FF

CYAN
(Aqua)
00 FF FF

VIOLET
(Fuchsia)
FF 00 FF

YELLOW

FF FF 00

LT. GRAY
(Silver)
C0 C0 C0

RED

FF 00 00

GREEN
(Lime)
00 FF 00

BLUE

00 00 FF

GRAY

80 80 80

TEAL

00 80 80

PURPLE

80 00 80

OLIVE

80 80 00

BLACK

00 00 00

MAROON

80 00 00

GREEN
(Green)
00 80 00

NAVY

00 00 80

    Here's a list of HTML tags to create color backgrounds and text using the Windows colors displayed above:

Inside the BODY tag
(<body bgcolor= text= link= vlink= alink= >), place one of the following for a page with these background colors:

  No tag at all (or "#FFFFFF") gives the default color of WHITE,
     bgcolor="#000000" or bgcolor="black"   for the color BLACK,
     bgcolor="#C0C0C0" or bgcolor="silver"  for the color LIGHT GRAY,
     bgcolor="#808080" or bgcolor="gray"    for the color GRAY,

     bgcolor="#FF0000" or bgcolor="red"     for the color RED,
     bgcolor="#00FF00" or bgcolor="lime"    for the color GREEN,
     bgcolor="#0000FF" or bgcolor="blue"    for the color BLUE,

     bgcolor="#00FFFF" or bgcolor="aqua"    for the color CYAN,
     bgcolor="#FF00FF" or bgcolor="fuchsia" for the color VIOLET,
     bgcolor="#FFFF00" or bgcolor="yellow"  for the color YELLOW,

     bgcolor="#008080" or bgcolor="teal"    for the color TEAL,
     bgcolor="#800080" or bgcolor="purple"  for the color PURPLE,
     bgcolor="#808000" or bgcolor="olvie"   for the color OLIVE,

     bgcolor="#800000" or bgcolor="maroon"  for the color MAROON,
     bgcolor="#008000" or bgcolor="green"   for the color GREEN,
     bgcolor="#000080" or bgcolor="navy"    for the color NAVY.
Inside the BODY tag, use the names or hex method for the text=   option, or to change the color of the text anywhere on the page use the HTML FONT tag
(<font face= color= size= >) with the color=   option set to any of the colors listed above. For more information and to view full-color tables of the 216 "Safety" colors, see the Appendix about color and HTML on my page All about Hexadecimal. The background color for this page (#FFDDCC) is NOT a Safety color, so it often appears differently when opened by different browsers. NOTE: Half of the 16 Windows Colors (Silver and any color using 80 hex) are NOT part of the 216 "Safety color" system! Newer browsers may not have this problem. I tend to use a lot of NON-Safety colors on my web pages. If the color (or fonts) on a page looks sort of ugly to you, it might be due to this difference.
( I create my pages with Internet Explorer on a PC -- Intel x86-based -- computer using 32-bit True Color video. )





Many drawing programs arrange the 16 Windows colors in a color palette similar to this:

Black

000000

Maroon

800000

Green

008000

Olive

808000

Navy

000080

Purple

800080

Teal

008080

Silver

C0C0C0

Gray

808080

Red

FF0000

Lime

00FF00

Yellow

FFFF00

Blue

0000FF

Fuchsia

FFFFFF

Aqua

00FFFF

White

FFFFFF



Last Updated, September 14, 2013


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