Web Author's Guide
The Windows Color Picker
The "color picker" window accessible from the Claris "Style" menu (and from analogous places in Dreamweaver and other programs) resides in Windows or another operating system. It is the same in all programs which summon it. It does not use the Web-safe levels of color, which are:
00, 33, 66, 99, CC, FF
(in decimal notation: 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, 255)
but rather a differently chosen set of six levels:
00, 40, 80, A0, C0, FF
(in decimal notation: 0, 64, 128, 160, 192, 255)
The 48 options in that window look like this, and choosing them inserts these HTML hex codes:
A B C D E F G H 1
FF8080 FFFF80 80FF80 00FF80 80FFFF 0080FF FF80C0 FF80FF 2
FF0000 FFFF00 80FF00 00FF40 00FFFF 0080C0 8080C0 FF00FF 3
804040 FF8040 00FF00 008080 004080 8080FF 800040 FF0080 4
800000 FF8000 008000 008040 0000FF 0000A0 800080 8000FF 5
400000 804000 004000 004040 000080 000040 400040 400080 6
000000 808000 808040 808080 408080 C0C0C0 400040 FFFFFF
Of the 27 possible combinations of levels 00, 40, and 80, only 21 actually occur, one of them (400040) twice, for a subtotal of 22 colors. There are also: 1 combination including level A0, 4 including level C0, and 22 including level FF (one of the latter overlapping with a C0 level), for an additional 26 colors, giving a total of 48. The result is heavy on nearly indistinguishable olives and browns, and skimpy on contrastable colors, which in essence are those with at least one FF element. All 9 named colors on the basic Text Color menu are repeated here, violating the implication of the title "Other." There is no logic to the arrangement of colors on the chart, leading the designer to squint at widely separated (but tiny) color blocks in order to compare them.
All in all, this "color picker" window is a hasty and amateur effort, which should long since have been revised. To have brought it into line with the Web-safe standard would have cost little more effort.
Bottom line: Don't use it.
16 Dec 2001 / Contact The Project / Exit to Reference Page