Understanding HEX Color Codes

Structure of HEX Color Codes

HEX color codes use a 6-digit hexadecimal format, which consists of letters (A-F) and numbers (0-9). The code is preceded by a pound sign (#) and is case-insensitive. The 6-digit code is divided into three pairs, each representing a color component: red (R), green (G), and blue (B).

#FF0000 Example


The first pair "FF" represents the red component, while "00" represents both the green and blue components, resulting in a pure red color.

Each pair of digits in a HEX color code can range from 00 to FF, with 00 being the lowest intensity and FF being the highest intensity of that particular color component. By varying the values of the red, green, and blue components, many colors can be created.

How HEX Color Codes Work

HEX color codes work by specifying the intensity of the red, green, and blue components that make up a color. Each component is represented by a hexadecimal value ranging from 00 to FF. The relationship between hexadecimal values and RGB colors is straightforward.

#000000 Example


This represents black because all three components are set to their lowest intensity (00).

#FFFFFF Example


This represents white because all three components are set to their highest intensity (FF).

By using different combinations of hexadecimal values for these components, you can represent over 16 million possible colors. This allows web developers and designers to specify precise colors for various elements on a web page such as text or backgrounds.

Using HEX Color Codes in HTML

Applying HEX Colors to HTML Elements

HEX color codes can be applied to HTML elements using the style attribute. The style attribute allows you to specify inline CSS styles for an element, including the color and background-color properties.

To set the text color of an element using a HEX color code, use the color property within the style attribute:

Example: Setting text color using HEX

<p style="color: #FF0000;">This text is red.</p>

Similarly, to set the background color of an element, use the background-color property:

Example: Setting background color using HEX

<div style="background-color: #00FF00;">This div has a green background.</div>

You can also apply HEX color codes to borders using the border property:

Example: Setting border color using HEX

<p style="border: 2px solid #0000FF;">This paragraph has a blue border.</p>

By using the style attribute with these properties, you can apply HEX color codes to various HTML elements and control their appearance.

HEX Color Codes in CSS

In addition to inline styles, HEX color codes can be defined in CSS stylesheets. This allows you to separate presentation styles from HTML structure and apply colors using CSS selectors and classes.

To define a HEX color code in a CSS stylesheet, use this syntax:

Example: Defining HEX color codes in CSS

.red-text {
  color: #FF0000;

.green-background {
  background-color: #00FF00;

.blue-border {
  border: 2px solid #0000FF;

We define three CSS classes: .red-text, .green-background, and .blue-border. Each class specifies a different HEX color code for its respective property.

To apply these classes to HTML elements, use the class attribute:

Example: Applying CSS classes to HTML elements

<p class="red-text">This text is red.</p>
<div class="green-background">This div has a green background.</div>
<p class="blue-border">This paragraph has a blue border.</p>

By defining HEX color codes in CSS stylesheets and using selectors and classes, you can apply consistent colors across your web page. This approach promotes code reuse and makes it easier to update visual styles on your website.

Common HEX Color Codes

HEX color codes are used in web design, and there are many common colors that designers use. Here is a table of some common HEX color codes and their corresponding names:

HEX Code Color Name
#000000 Black
#FF0000 Red
#00FF00 Green
#0000FF Blue
#FFFF00 Yellow
#FF00FF Magenta
#00FFFF Cyan
#800000 Maroon
#808000 Olive
#008000 Dark Green
#800080 Purple
#008080 Teal
#000080 Navy
#808080 Gray

These are just a few examples of the many named colors that have corresponding HEX codes. There are many resources available online that provide more color tables and lists of HEX codes.

In addition to individual colors, web designers often use color palettes that consist of a set of colors that work well together.

Pastel Colors

  • #FFC8DD (Pink)
  • #FFAFCC (Light Pink)
  • #BDE0FE (Light Blue)
  • #A2D2FF (Sky Blue)
  • #CDB4DB (Lavender)

Warm Earth Tones

  • #E76F51 (Burnt Sienna)
  • #F4A261 (Sandy Brown)
  • #E9C46A (Dark Khaki)
  • #2A9D8F (Jungle Green)
  • #264653 (Charcoal)

Vibrant and Bold

  • #FF4136 (Bright Red)
  • #FF851B (Orange)
  • #FFDC00 (Yellow)
  • #2ECC40 (Green)

These color palettes show how different colors can be combined to create visually appealing designs. When selecting colors for a website, consider factors such as harmony, contrast, and the overall mood or feeling you want to convey.

Many websites and tools help designers create and explore color palettes, such as Adobe Color, Coolors, and Paletton. These tools allow you to generate schemes based on different principles like complementary or analogous colors.

By using common HEX color codes and well-designed palettes, web designers can create engaging websites that communicate their intended message clearly.

Tools for Working with HEX Color Codes

When working with HEX color codes, there are many helpful tools available that make it easier to generate, select, and manage colors for your web projects.

Online HEX Color Code Generators or Pickers

These websites allow you to visually select a color using a color wheel or by adjusting sliders for hue, saturation, and lightness. Some popular online color pickers include:

  • A simple and intuitive color picker that displays the selected color's HEX, RGB, and HSL values.
  • Adobe Color: A tool that lets you create color palettes based on different rules like monochromatic or complementary colors.
  • A generator that helps you create and save color palettes for your projects.

These tools are useful when you need to find a specific color or create a new palette.

Browser Extensions and Plugins

Some popular extensions include:

  • ColorZilla: An extension for Firefox and Chrome that allows you to pick colors from web pages.
  • Eye Dropper: A Chrome extension that lets you select colors from web pages and copy their HEX, RGB, or HSL values.
  • Color Picker: A Firefox add-on that enables you to select colors from any webpage.

These extensions make it easy to quickly select colors from existing websites.

Converting Between Different Color Formats

You may also need to convert between different formats like HEX, RGB (Red Green Blue), and HSL (Hue Saturation Lightness).

HEX format example


A 6-digit code representing a color where each pair of digits corresponds to the intensity of red, green, and blue (e.g., #FF0000 for red).

RGB format example

rgb(255, 0, 0)

Specifies the intensity of red, green, and blue as individual values between 0 and 255.

HSL format example

hsl(0, 100%, 50%)

Represents colors using hue (0–360 degrees), saturation (0–100%), and lightness (0–100%) values.

Many online tools like RapidTables provide converters allowing input in one format with output in another. This can be helpful when working with different systems.