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What is the Proper Way to Use an HTML Color Tag?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated May 17, 2024
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To properly use an HTML color tag, it is important not only to use all coding correctly, but also to implement the page enhancing technique properly. There is a proper way to use color tags, and general rules of effective web design should be taken into consideration. When used correctly, adding color to a web page can be both attractive and useful in emphasizing the points a site wishes to make.

First, it is important that one know the proper coding for using an HTML color tag. Color tags are found nested inside of the font tag. There are two main ways to let a web browser know which color a particular text segment should be shown in. One can either use specific color names or what is known as a hex color code. For example, if a particular segment of text is to be shown in blue, the HTML color tag could look like this: <font color = "0000FF"> or like this: <font color = "blue">.

Although both of these options can work equally as well for commonly used colors, the hex color code method is more effective in choosing colors that are not as widely known. For one, there are more colors to choose from in the hex code method. Secondly, these codes are more accurately picked up by web browsers, allowing the color to show up the same on any user's computer, regardless of browser. Full hex code listings can be found online.

The second important thing to remember when dealing with HTML color tag coding, is to only use colors where necessary. A general rule of thumb in web design is that if something does not further the purpose of the web page it can probably be left out. Colored text should only be used to add emphasis to a particular word or phrase, or to help text show up better against a particular background. Multi-colored text and rapidly changing colors should not be used because these methods can easily distract visitors to the site.

It is a good idea to keep the background in mind when using an HTML color tag. Do not use light-colored text on a light background, or vice-versa with dark colors. Unless a graphic filled background will be used, it is best to act as though the background will be white.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all users have the latest web browser installed. For that reason, when HTML color tags are used, only common colors and fonts should be chosen. That way, everyone’s browser is more likely to read every aspect of the site. Remember, if no one can read the page, the message is lost and the website is rendered useless.

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