Browser Safe and
String Literal Colors


string literal color: Words (and a series of words with no spaces) that are allowed in HTML code to display a color with descriptive values in place of hexadecimal color code. This is handy for the budding webmaster who needs to get the color scheme in a site done fast!. Hex values can always be added later, after the templates are set up.   And it's great for teaching kids to make web pages without having to gack them out with hexadecimal color values, focusing on describing the colors instead.

The common browser color values for PC and MAC are limited to 216.   This is the basic pallet for cross-platform web page design. String literal color values which are great on high color displays get dithered down to this common color pallet when viewed on a 256 color monitor.    While the string literal color pallet is large the only colors on it that are also on the common browser color pallet boil down to a very short list of ten names for eight values:

aqua (cyan) = #00ffff
black = #000000
blue = #0000ff
fuchsia (magenta) = #ff00ff
lime = #00ff00
red = #ff0000
white = #ffffff
yellow = #ffff00

Aqua and cyan both have the same hex number value, so no matter which name value you use it will result in the browser displaying the hex value #00ffff.   The same thing happens with fuschia and magenta, the diplayed value is #ff00ff. (Handy if you always have an easier time spelling one than the other).

If you choose to code your web pages with string literal values be aware that the pallet of browser safe string literal colors is limited to the values shown above.

Copyright © July 2003, Ric Frye-- the Most Underutilized Human Resource in Klickitat County