000000 000033 000066 000099 0000cc 0000ff
003300 003333 003366 003399 0033cc 0033ff
006600 006633 006666 006699 0066cc 0066ff
009900 009933 009966 009999 0099cc 0099ff
00cc00 00cc33 00cc66 00cc99 00cccc 00ccff
00ff00 00ff33 00ff66 00ff99 00ffcc 00ffff
330000 330033 330066 330099 3300cc 3300ff
333300 333333 333366 333399 3333cc 3333ff
336600 336633 336666 336699 3366cc 3366ff
339900 339933 339966 339999 3399cc 3399ff
33cc00 33cc33 33cc66 33cc99 33cccc 33ccff
33ff00 33ff33 33ff66 33ff99 33ffcc 33ffff
660000 660033 660066 660099 6600cc 6600ff
663300 663333 663366 663399 6633cc 6633ff
666600 666633 666666 666699 6666cc 6666ff
669900 669933 669966 669999 6699cc 6699ff
66cc00 66cc33 66cc66 66cc99 66cccc 66ccff
66ff00 66ff33 66ff66 66ff99 66ffcc 66ffff
990000 990033 990066 990099 9900cc 9900ff
993300 993333 993366 993399 9933cc 9933ff
996600 996633 996666 996699 9966cc 9966ff
999900 999933 999966 999999 9999cc 9999ff
99cc00 99cc33 99cc66 99cc99 99cccc 99ccff
99ff00 99ff33 99ff66 99ff99 99ffcc 99ffff
cc0000 cc0033 cc0066 cc0099 cc00cc cc00ff
cc3300 cc3333 cc3366 cc3399 cc33cc cc33ff
cc6600 cc6633 cc6666 cc6699 cc66cc cc66ff
cc9900 cc9933 cc9966 cc9999 cc99cc cc99ff
cccc00 cccc33 cccc66 cccc99 cccccc ccccff
ccff00 ccff33 ccff66 ccff99 ccffcc ccffff
ff0000 ff0033 ff0066 ff0099 ff00cc ff00ff
ff3300 ff3333 ff3366 ff3399 ff33cc ff33ff
ff6600 ff6633 ff6666 ff6699 ff66cc ff66ff
ff9900 ff9933 ff9966 ff9999 ff99cc ff99ff
ffcc00 ffcc33 ffcc66 ffcc99 ffcccc ffccff
ffff00 ffff33 ffff66 ffff99 ffffcc ffffff

Websafe falls down a little in 16bit. I didn't worry about it because I figured there's very few people running 1995 era 2mb video cards. Then I learned that an iMac at 1024x768 is limited to 16bit. Which means many of my pages don't look good for a lot of people, and that's not the idea.

16bit only works perfectly with a few of the 216 colours, mostly green, but I wondered how many were passable. Hence this coarse tool; what you see will depend on your eyesight, your monitor, and your browser. Mileage will vary with other eyes and monitors and browsers, so understand it's a compromise. I only post it here to save anyone else making 216 little gifs to satisfy their curiosity. Each gif is 25x15 and is in the upper left corner of the cell.

Feel free to download it. Here's the zip. Make your own version. If you know js, perhaps you could combine it with Ideo's brilliant Color Visualizer, so we'd have one tool that does everything.

So far I've tested this on six browsers across three machines, and the results are unsettling. Netscape 6 is consistently awful. You can spot the gifs from across the room. N4, Opera, and the Explorers vary gently among themselves and on different machines, as to which gifs are slightly noticeable. It may not be possible to select some 'passable' colours from this array, but that's worth learning too. What I'd like to do is test the browsers on a few iMacs, since that's the issue group.

Note: don't resize the gifs with the HTML, use your graphics editor. I noticed that a stretched gif gets its colour reinterpreted by the browser and then matches the bg, spoiling the test.

23sep01 Owen Briggs