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Web‐safe colors

In addition to RGB and hexadecimal colors, you hear about Web safe or the Web 216 palette. Web safe and Web 216 refer to the set of 216 colors that display reliably across the different platforms. The use of Web‐safe colors was more important years ago when people didn't have computers and monitors that could handle millions of colors. A system was developed to make sure that colors could be displayed correctly on both Mac and Windows computers. Now that computers and monitors are much improved, it's becoming increasingly mainstream to disregard strict adherence to the Web‐safe, 216‐color palette. Figures 4-4 and 4-5 illustrate the difference between a Web‐safe, 216‐color palette (Figure 4-4 ) and a nonWeb‐safe palette (Figure 4-5 ).

Figure 4-4: The Web‐safe palette.


Figure 4-5: The Color Picker window displaying full color.


While in many cases, you can pick colors without worrying too much about strict adherence to the Web 216 (Web‐safe, 216‐color) palette, sometimes you need to. One of those times is when you're making a graphic that needs to sit next to an expanse of code‐generated color — for instance, in a banner. If you want to match the background color of the banner and the color in a graphic sitting over the background color, you should use a Web‐safe color. That way, you can be sure there isn't a slight color shift between the graphic and the background. Color shift is what happens when two colors that should be the same are very slightly off. A color shift between a graphic and the background can be slight to severe but is always distracting. See the example in Figure 4-6 to see how this can produce undesirable results.

Figure 4-6: A color shift between a graphic and the background can be slight to severe but is always distracting.



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