Hex Color Codes
So you're working on a web design project and your colleague has just asked you to "send me the hex color codes". You reply "OK - no problem".
You think "What on earth are hex color codes?".
Well, "hex color codes" is another way of saying "hexadecimal color codes" or "hexadecimal values". The format is a hash (#) followed by 6 numbers or letters. The position of the numbers/letters correlate to the RGB value. For example, #0000ff translates into Red:000, Green:000, Blue:255. In laymans terms, this translates into "blue". This is because blue has it's full value (i.e. "ff" in hex or "255" in RGB), and both red and green have no value (i.e. "00" in hex or "000" in RGB).
Hex Colors in HTML
When coding HTML, you often need to specify what color an element should be. For example, the color of text, the background color of a table cell etc. For any given color, there are various ways of specifying a value. For example, you can provide the color name (i.e.
blue) or you can provide the hexadecimal value (
#0000ff). Using hex color codes (and various other models), you have many more options for different shades of color than just the color names. Instead of just "blue" you can nominate a specific shade of blue using a hexadecimal value.
For example, here are just a few different shades of blue that you could specify:
|blue||Hex color code: #e2f1fb|
|Hex color code: #0000ff (same as 'blue')||Hex color code: #83c8f9|
|Hex color code: #000099||Hex color code: #2984c3|
|Hex color code: #000066||Hex color code: #075d9a|
If you're ever presented with the RGB value of a color, you will be able to determine the hex color code. To get an idea of how this works, check out this color code picker. This color picker enables you to view the hex and RGB values of any color. If you have an image editor such as Photoshop or The GIMP, this color picker will be familiar.
Counting in Hexadecimal
Hexadecimal can be a little difficult to understand at first. This is because most of us are used to counting in decimal. When using decimal, we count from 0 to 10, then once we reach 10, we just go from 0 to 10 again but prefix with a 1 (i.e. 10,11,12,13...).
On the other hand, if we were to count using Hexadecimal, we would go from 1 to 16, then start again. But using Hexadecimal, once we go past 10 we add a letter instead of numbers. So instead of using 11, 12, 13, 14 etc, we use A, B, C, D etc. Therefore, this is what we use: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,A,B,C,D,E,F.
This is why most hexadecimal values include a combination of letters and digits.