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  1. #1
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    web safe colors?

    what is the story on "web safe" colors at this point?

    i see people using colors that fall outside the "safe" palette all the time. i do it myself, as it seems that they render fine.

    i've never had this adequately explained to me, it seems. do "web safe colors" have any relevance anymore? what's the skinny?

  • #2
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    It depends how bothered you are if the colors you use look the same for everyone.

    Web-safe means a baseline of 256, plus allowance for the fact that some colors look different between PC and Mac, and that leaves you with about 212 colors you can safely use, that will look the same on PCs and Macs with 8-bit color resolution.

    I don't bother personally, but there might be some colors that you care about - for example pastel shades might turn into gray or white rather than another shade of the same color, but you might find the closest websafe shade is too different to want to use.

    Easy way to tell - take a screenshot of your page and turn it into 256 colors in Photoshop - or change your monitor's color output to 256 - does it look okay? Unbearably bad or bearably different?

    If it's bearably different, don't worry about it.
    "Why bother with accessibility? ... Because deep down you know that the web is attractive to people who aren't exactly like you." - Joe Clark

  • #3
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    Is this still enforced? With all the users in 24 and 32 bit color and the use of jpg images online, this precaution seems obsolete. But maybe cellphones have limitations, I don't know.

  • #4
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    For a computer monitor, pretty much all colours will show up as you want them nowadays. The least you'll encounter is 16 bit, or 65536 colours. However, other devices such as mobile phones or PDAs tend to force colours to their optimised palette, if they operate below 16 bit. (2 and 4 bit screens on early colour screen phones, for instance.) The human eye can't distinguish more than 10k-12k colours at the same time, and can't distinguish very well between different red or blue hues, while it's a bit better at the yellow-green part of the spectrum.
    Last edited by liorean; 02-25-2004 at 09:31 PM.
    liorean <[lio@wg]>
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  • #5
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    great information, as usual. thanks guys.


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