Webmaster in a Nutshell

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Color Names and Values

6.2 Color Names

Unfortunately, determining the hexadecimal value for more esoteric colors like "papaya whip" or "navajo white" is very difficult. You can go crazy trying to adjust the RGB triple for a color to get the shade just right, especially when each adjustment requires loading a document into your browser to view the result.

The folks at Microsoft and Netscape thought so, too, and gave their browsers the ability to use color names directly in any of the color tags. Simply use the color name for the color-attribute value enclosed in quotes. Single-word color names don't require enclosing quotes, but it's good practice to include them anyway. For example, you can make all visited links in the display magenta with the following attribute and value for the body tag:

<body vlink="magenta">

The standard color names currently supported by Internet Explorer are:

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

Not to be outdone, Netscape 2.0 and higher supports named colors as well; they just don't document the fact. Even better, Netscape supports the several hundred color names defined for use in the X Window System. Note that color names may contain no spaces; also, the word gray may be spelled grey in any color name.

Colors marked with an asterisk (*) represent a family of colors numbered one through four. Thus, there are actually four variants of blue, named blue1, blue2,blue3, and blue4, along with plain old blue. Blue1 is the lightest of the four; blue4 the darkest. The unnumbered color name is the same color as the first; thus, blue and blue1 are identical.

Finally, if all that isn't enough, there are one hundred variants of gray (and grey) numbered 1 through 100. Gray1 is the darkest, gray100 is the lightest, and gray is very close to gray75.

The Netscape-supported colors are:

aliceblue  darkturquoise  lightseagreen  palevioletred* 
antiquewhite*  darkviolet  lightskyblue*  papayawhip 
aquamarine*  deeppink*  lightslateblue  peachpuff* 
azure*  deepskyblue*  lightslategray  peru 
beige  dimgray  lightsteelblue*  pink* 
bisque*  dodgerblue*  lightyellow*  plum* 
black  firebrick*  limegreen  powderblue 
blanchedalmond  floralwhite  linen  purple* 
blue*  forestgreen  magenta*  red* 
blueviolet  gainsboro  maroon*  rosybrown* 
brown*  ghostwhite  mediumaquamarine  royalblue* 
burlywood*  gold*  mediumblue  saddlebrown 
cadetblue*  goldenrod*  mediumorchid*  salmon* 
chartreuse*  gray  mediumpurple*  sandybrown 
chocolate*  green*  mediumseagreen  seagreen* 
coral*  greenyellow  mediumslateblue  seashell* 
cornflowerblue  honeydew*  mediumspringgreen  sienna* 
cornsilk*  hotpink*  mediumturquoise  skyblue* 
cyan*  indianred*  mediumvioletred  slateblue* 
darkblue  ivory*  midnightblue  slategray* 
darkcyan  khaki*  mintcream  snow* 
darkgoldenrod*  lavender  mistyrose*  springgreen* 
darkgray  lavenderblush*  moccasin  steelblue* 
darkgreen  lawngreen  navajowhite*  tan* 
darkkhaki  lemonchiffon*  navy  thistle* 
darkmagenta  lightblue*  navyblue  tomato* 
darkolivegreen*  lightcoral  oldlace  turquoise* 
darkorange*  lightcyan*  olivedrab*  violet 
darkorchid*  lightgoldenrod*  orange*  violetred* 
darkred  lightgoldenrodyellow  orangered*  wheat* 
darksalmon  lightgray  orchid*  white 
darkseagreen*  lightgreen  palegoldenrod  whitesmoke 
darkslateblue  lightpink*  palegreen*  yellow* 
darkslategray*  lightsalmon*  paleturquoise*  yellowgreen 

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