What Is an HTML Color Table?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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Due to the way in which different colors are indicated in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), an HTML color table is commonly used to simplify the selection of different tones. HTML uses a hexadecimal or “hex” notation to indicate any particular color through the use of Red, Green, and Blue (RGB). Each of these three colors is indicated as two digits for a total of six values; this is the “hexa-” in hexadecimal and uses a combination of numbers and letters. An HTML color table is basically a visual aid that provides different colors along with the hex notation for each one.

The layout of an HTML color table is usually quite simple, providing a range of colors in a manner similar to a color wheel or a basic list table. HTML is typically used in the creation of websites, and most fonts and other materials on a site appear black as the default color. In order to change the color of an object created in HTML, it must be given a hexadecimal value that is read by a web browser or other program.


Hexadecimal values used in an HTML color table are not especially complicated, but they can be difficult to remember. As the prefix “hexa-” indicates, these notations include six total figures, which can be letters or numbers. The six digits of a hexadecimal or hex notation in an HTML color table indicate the amount of red, green, and blue or RGB present in a particular color. Red is indicated by the first two digits, green by the middle two digits, and the amount of blue is based on the final two digits.

A value of “00” in hex notation is the lowest possible value, and in an HTML color table it indicates no amount of that color whatsoever. This means that a hex notation of “000000” has no red, green, or blue and so it is displayed as black. The highest possible value in this type of hex notation is “FF,” which indicates as much of a color as possible. A hex notation of “FFFFFF” in an HTML color table indicates white, the highest possible value of all three colors combined.

Many different tones and shades can be created through this hex notation, which are typically displayed in an HTML color table. Rather than showing every possible combination, however, these tables usually show a limited range or palette that is functional and can guide someone using HTML. Many tables display 216 colors that were regarded as “web safe” when monitors had a more limited potential palette. There are millions of colors that can be created with hex notation, though the difference between “0010FF” and “0011FF” is very difficult to perceive.


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