HTML, Colours and Hexadecimal format

Published 24/05/2004 18:37   |    Updated 13/02/2009 13:16
What do I need to know about the Hexadecimal format?

Hexadecimal is the base-16 number system that computer programs often use (as opposed to straight decimal - the base-10 number system that we're used to).


HTML's palette works by using hexadecimal to control the amount of light going to the red, green and blue phosphors that make up the pixels on your computer screen.


Each colour is represented not by a name, but by six digits. The first two control the screen's red phosphors, the second two control the green, and the last two control the blue. So the colour FF0000 tells the screen to turn on the red phosphor, but turn off the blue and green ones. The colour that results in this case is, of course, red.


If this doesn't make much sense, don't worry, it doesn't need to.


Aqua: #00FFFF
Black: #000000
Blue: #0000FF
Fuschia: #FF00FF
Grey: #808080
Green: #008000
Lime: #00FF00
Maroon: #800000
Navy: #000080
Olive: #808000
Purple: #800080
Red: #FF0000
Silver: #C0C0C0
Teal: #008080
White: #FFFFFF
Yellow: #FFFF00


For a more extensive list this chart  should help, and is handy for picking out a wider range of colours.



HTML - other points to remember


It's important to understand that some web browsers display HTML differently than others. In other words, your site may appear differently to one user visually than it does to another, depending on the browsers they're using to view it.


There are now many programmes, or HTML editors, available to make using HTML easier, but you'll probably need to know the basics anyway - particularly as you get more ambitious. These 'editors' are useful for generating code faster and more easily, but shouldn't be substituted for a basic understanding for HTML's codes and protocols.


There's a useful directory of HTML editors at


Please note also that there are now several versions of HTML. To learn about some of the differences between them visit


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