Tricks n' Tips


 General » 

 • Using Colour
 • Special Characters
 • Counters and Statistics 

Go to Contents Colours

You can specify basic text colours using style sheets the <BODY> and <FONT COLOR="..."> commands. For example,

<BODY BGCOLOR="#FFFFD8" TEXT="#000000" LINK="#400080" VLINK="#C40000" ALINK="#00A000">
is used for this page, ie. a cream background, black text, blue unvisited links, red visited links and green active links.

<FONT COLOR="#00A000">green</FONT>
will produce green text.

In all cases, the colours are described using a six digit red-green-blue (RGB) hexidecimal code. This is slightly easier than it sounds. The first two digits represent the red portion of the colour, the second two for green and the last two for blue. The valid range for each colour is from 00 (dark) to FF (light). For instance, here are some common colours in hex form:

Light Gray:bbbbbb

If there is a colour, in a graphic say, and you wish to know its RGB constituents you can use a package such as the excellent Paintshop Pro to determine the split. The colour fractions will be given in decimal rather than hexadecimal. This means the colours will range from 0 to 255 rather than 00 to FF; use a scientific calculator to convert or check out my hex to decimal conversion chart which should also help you to count in hexadecimal if you're not sure how to.

With Netscape Navigator 2 upwards and MS Internet Explorer, you can describe colours in terms of a name, ie. "red" instead of "#FF0000". It should be noted that while Netscape supports 140 colour names, Internet Explorer 3 supports only 16 of these. Not all browsers support colour names. InfiNet have created a complete colour chartexternal link, telling you allowable colour names, their associated hex code and an demonstration of the colour itself. Netscape also has a page explaining the Colour Units and Names in Navigatorexternal link and Microsoft has an equivalent Using Named Colours in Internet Explorerexternal link.

Colour wheels of all the web-safe colours are at VisiBoneexternal link. Here, you can click out a colour scheme with the free online Colour Labexternal link and pick colours in Adobe Photoshop or ImageReady or Linux The Gimp with the free swatch collectionsexternal link. To top it all, there's a thoroughly useful poster for saleexternal link of all 216 colours in the Webmaster's Palette.

Go to ContentsSpecial Characters

Special characters, such as ampersand (&), less-than (<) and copyright (©) can be displayed in your document using special code. The code for special symbols is always held between an ampersand (&) and a semicolon (;). For instance, to display the symbol <, you need to write the code &lt;. Jalfrezi now has a full list of available symbols.

Meanwhile, here are some examples.

< &lt;
> &gt;
& &amp;
æ &aelig;
© &copy;
non-breaking space &nbsp;

    Incidentally, a non-breaking space can be quite useful as it enables you to insert a space-character anywhere and as many times as you want; I used four in a row to indent the first line of this paragraph. Bear in mind that there are better ways than this for general spacing and alignment of text (such as tables or <PRE>).

Go to ContentsCounters and Statistics

Customizable counters, like the one shown here, are (were) available free from WebCounterexternal link. Unfortunately WebCounter is currently not taking on new counters.


LinkExchangeexternal link are now also providing a free counter service which they call FastCounterexternal link. This also includes a regular e-mail presenting statistics on your counter hits.


If you want historical statistics and a whole host of other free stuff relating to use of your web pages, check out HitBoxexternal link. Each site is also placed in a category (such as Web Resources) and ranked based on its popularity.

Click Here!

WebTrackerexternal link is another statistical service and also doubles as a customisable counter, as you can see from the graphic opposite. Regarding your visitors, Webtracker says, "You gain informative data on what browser they are using, the operating system they are running, and can even tell if they are a return visitor! Find out what days of the week are hot at your site, and find out what time of the day visitors come to your site." Webtracker is now taking on new subscribers.

WebTracker Counter
stats for this page

If your Internet service provider (ISP) lets you run cgi-scripts on their web server, you could make your own counter based on code available at Matt's Script Archiveexternal link. For masses more counters, trackers and statistics, check out Mark Welch's excellent Web Page Access Counters and Trackersexternal link.

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