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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Working with Colors

Since Web pages appear in Web browsers, you want to use colors on your pages that are Web-safe, so they appear consistently on every browser. A Web-safe color appears the same in Microsoft Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator on both Windows and Macintosh system when running in 256-color mode.

RGB (red, green, blue) is a set of color values that describe colors. RGB identifies a color by a set of hexadecimal numbers, an internal computer numbering scheme, that specify the amounts of red, green, and blue needed to create the color. RGB colors appear best over the Web (true color representation without dithers or substitutes) when you use only browser safe colors, which is a standard set of 216 color combinations. These RGB values are 0, 51, 102, 153, 204, or 255 in decimal or 00, 33, 66, 99, CC, or FF in hexadecimal. When you use the system color dialog boxes, you use decimal values. You use hexadecimal values in Code view, the Properties panel, and some dialog boxes, such as the Preferences dialog box.

Using the Color Picker

When you want to change a color, you can click any color box available in many dialog boxes, such as the Preferences dialog box, and the Property Inspector to open the color picker. The color picker allows you to select a color for different page elements.

When you click a color box, the color picker appears, displaying the eyedropper cursor and a palette with a bar at the top and a swatch of colors at the bottom. The bar displays the currently selected color and its hexadecimal number. To the right is the Default Color button, which clears the current color without choosing a different color. Next to the Default Color button is the Color Wheel button, which opens the system color picker. The system color picker is the standard color selector provided by the operating system, either Windows or Macintosh. The popup menu in the upper-right corner of the color picker allows you to expand your color selection. You can select different color palettes, including Color Cubes, Continuous Tone, Windows OS, Mac OS, and Grayscale. The Color Cube (default color palette) and Continuous Tone palettes are Web-safe while the Windows OS, Mac OS, and Grayscale are not. If you are using a non Web-safe palette, you can use the Snap To Web Safe command to have Dreamweaver replace the selected color with the closest Web-safe color. You can use the eyedropper to select a color swatch from the palette or pick a color from anywhere on your screen inside or outside Dreamweaver.

Using the System Color Picker

When you click the Color Wheel button in the color picker, a system color picker dialog box opens. In Windows, you can use the Color dialog box, which displays basic and custom color squares and a color matrix with the full range of colors in the color spectrum, to help you select a color. You can enter RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values or hue, saturation, and luminosity (also known as brightness) values to specify a color. Hue is the color created by mixing primary colors (Red, Blue, and Yellow). Saturation is a measure of how much white is mixed in with the color. A fully saturated color is vivid; a less saturated color is washed-out pastel. Luminosity is a measure of how much black is mixed with the color. A very bright color contains little or no black. You can also change the hue by moving the pointer in the color matrix box horizontally, the saturation by moving the pointer vertically, and the luminosity by adjusting the slider to the right of the color matrix box. On the Macintosh, you click one of the color modes and select a color, using its controls. You can select RGB values by selecting the color sliders at the top of the dialog box; or by entering values (color numbers) to select a color. You can select hue, saturation, and brightness (or luminosity) values by selecting the color sliders at the top of the dialog box or entering values (color numbers). The color you select appears in the ColorSolid box.

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