## An Easy Way to Choose Attractive Color Combinations

Written by Sunil Tanna

Continued from page 1

4. Repeat step 3 for 2nd, 3rd, etc. most prominent colors in image. Depending on how many colors you need for your color scheme, you'll know when to stop (hint: too many colors can make your designs look confused and messy).

The RGB three color values that you picked up in your paint program may either be in decimal (0 to 255) or hexadecimal (00 to FF) - most paint programs tend to use former. If you want to use your colors in HTML code, you'll need to convert three numbers into hexadecimal, and put digits in order RRGGBB.

A quick way to do this is:

1. Start Windows calculator.

2. Make sure that it's in "Scientific" mode (on View menu).

3. Make sure "Dec" radio button is selected.

4. Enter a decimal number.

5. Click "Hex" radio button, and note down value. If value is only a single digit, add a leading 0.

6. Repeat steps 3 to 6 for each of three numbers in your triplet of RGB values.

For example:

R (decimal) = 194, converts to C2 (hexadecimal) G (decimal) = 15, converts to 0F (hexadecimal) B (decimal) = 140, converts to 8C (hexadecimal)

Therefore color to use in HTML code is C20F8C.

Manual Conversion To Color-Safe Palette:

I promised earlier that I would tell you how to manually convert a color into a color-safe value if your paint program doesn't have a built-in function for this. Here's how:

2. For each of three values, you need to convert them separately into their color-safe equivalents.

If you're starting from decimal values:

0 to 25 - converts to 0 (decimal) or 00 (hexadecimal) 26 to 76 - converts to 51 (decimal) or 33 (hexadecimal) 77 to 127 - converts to 102 (decimal) or 66 (hexadecimal) 128 to 178 - converts to 153 (decimal) or 99 (hexadecimal) 179 to 229 - converts to 204 (decimal) or CC (hexadecimal) 230 to 255 - converts to 255 (decimal) or FF (hexadecimal)

If you're starting from hexadecimal values:

00 to 19 - converts to 0 (decimal) or 00 (hexadecimal) 1A to 4C - converts to 51 (decimal) or 33 (hexadecimal) 4D to 7F - converts to 102 (decimal) or 66 (hexadecimal) 80 to B2 - converts to 153 (decimal) or 99 (hexadecimal) B3 to E5 - converts to 204 (decimal) or CC (hexadecimal) E6 to FF - converts to 255 (decimal) or FF (hexadecimal)

For example:

If we need to convert C20F8C to its closest color-safe equivalent:

- We would convert C2 part to CC - We would convert 0F part to 00 - We would convert 8C part to 99 - And thus we would CC0099 as final color.

## Using and Converting to Color-Safe Palettes

Written by Sunil Tanna

Continued from page 1

- In some cases, colors that aren't available will be converted to their nearest "color-safe" equivalent. This can lead to your web page looking different from what you intended.

- In other cases, particularly for large areas of continuous color (such as backgrounds and tables), browser may attempt to simulate your chosen color by "dithering" two or more color-safe colors together. This usually makes colors look grainy, and very often looks absolutely terrible. If you don't know what I mean by "dithering", see explanation at: http://www.graphicsacademy.com/what_dither.php

The Solution:

Review your HTML coding, and look at colors in each COLOR= attribute... then change them to their closest color-safe equivalents.

(You might want to make a safe copy of your web pages before doing this, in case you make an oopsy).

Understanding The COLOR Attribute In HTML Code:

If you look at COLOR= attributes in HTML code, it usually looks something like this

COLOR="#C20F8C"

(Sometimes you may also see named colors like "RED" or "MAGENTA" which is beyond scope of this discussion, just skip over any of those).

The values in quotes after hash symbol, are actually three pairs of digits, representing Red, Green, and Blue components of color expressed as hexadecimal numbers in range 00 to FF.

So for color given above:

- C2 is Red component - 0F is Green component - 8C is Blue component

There is also a three-digit variant of above which you may very occasionally run across:

If you see something like: COLOR="#F9C"

Then you simply need to repeat each digit, thus F9C represents:

- FF for Red component - 99 for Green component - CC for Blue component

Converting to Color-Safe Colors:

Now we understand theory, we're ready to convert a color to its closest color-safe equivalent.

For each of Red, Green and Blue components, you need to convert them separately into values, you need to convert them separately into color-safe equivalents, and then recombine whole lot together.

The conversion step goes like this:

00 to 19 - converts to 00 1A to 4C - converts to 33 4D to 7F - converts to 66 80 to B2 - converts to 99 B3 to E5 - converts to CC E6 to FF - converts to FF

For example:

If we need to convert C20F8C to its closest color-safe equivalent:

- We would convert C2 part to CC - We would convert 0F part to 00 - We would convert 8C part to 99 - And thus we would CC0099 as final color.

Some other examples:

2B2CF0 would convert to 3333FF C000C0 would convert to CC00CC F0A000 would convert to FF9900 And so on...