“Web Safe, or Browser Safe palettes as they are also referred to, consist of 216 colors that display solid, non-dithered, and consistent on any computer monitor, or web browser, capable of displaying at least 8-bit color (256 colors).” The reasoning that all 256 colors arent in use and over ruled by the 216 color pallet. Is because, the 216 color pallet consists of the most basic of colors which will display the same on any computer. Whether it be on a mac product or window product. Most computers back a decade or so ago, could only display 216 colors maximum at a time. There were a plethora of reasons why there were limitations on the color pallet. Including ram, video/ graphics cards limitations that were only able to display the 256 colors.
“To give the appearance of more colors, and this is especially true of early monitors that could only display 16 pure colors, a process called dithering was used to give the impression of more colors.” To give the appearance of more colors, and this is especially true of early monitors that could only display 16 pure colors.The dithering process was to give the impression to display more colors that were actually being displayed.
When to use Web Safe Colors
If the web site background is a solid color, it should be a web safe color that will guarantee the color, so older computers that can only display the full 256 will display the semi desired color. There are many of the older computers around that cannot display more than the 256 so the background will be a clean display and non dithered. If the background is not a web safe color it may have more problems with display and become transparent making it white mixed with the rest of the safe colored background in older computers.
You can export photographic images using web safe colors and dithering. Resulting in semi clear photos which will make the actual picture look off in terms of color and results. Exporting in JPEG format will yield better results because i will have half clear and half pixelated which can be considered better and worse in some cases. Always choose carefully on the safe side and manipulate the web color safe colors to be on your side of the argument. Since these old relics of computers still exist its recommended that you implement some type of this web color safety into your own web.