Webmaster in a Nutshell

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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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