Graphics: Web colors: Dreamweaver vs. Photoshop

started by Synessence on Feb 2, 2004 — RSS Feed

Synessence Synessence
Posts: 5

This is undoubtedly a naive question, but then again, that's sort of the nature of questions....

I am having trouble understanding a discrepency in getting web-safe colors to match by hex code between Dreamweaver and Photoshop.  Perhaps an example will mean more:

In Dreamweaver, I create a new document, go to edit Properties and set the background color to #333333 (medium grey).  

I then switch to Photoshop, create a new image file as an 8-bit RGB.  Opening the color picker, I enter #333333 in the hex code box, and fill the new file with this via paint bucket.  I then save the file as a GIF, exact index (also tried with JPEG, etc.).

Switching back to Dreamweaver, I then insert the newly minted image which should be invisible against the field of the same color....only, its not.  Its considerably darker.

Taking a screenshot of the background of the displayed html page, I then open this up in Photoshop in order to select it with the dropper in the color picker only to find.....that Photoshop identifies it as #444444.  I fill the previous image with this color, insert it into Dreamweaver and voila, a perfect match with the page's background, which Dreamweaver still insists is #333333.

What's going on here?

Pepper Nix Photographers

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

Mitch, what you are coming up against here is Photoshop's color management. Although Photoshop works internally in the numbers you have type-in, what is displayed on the screen depends on your colour management settings. Photoshop applies 'compensation' to colours on your screen depending on your colour settings. Colour management in Photoshop is a major issue and not one I can go into here other than to say that you can't trust what you see on your screen unless you are using the correct color profile for your monitor. Best to check you manual.

Dreamweaver (and browsers), on the other hand, don't normally alter colours. I say 'normally' because it is possible to embed profiles into web images but I don't know anybody that does.

When you want an image background colour to match a page background colour reliably, it is best to use transparency. It's very difficult to do with a JPEG.

Synessence Synessence
Posts: 5

Thanks for the reply - but I'm still puzzled.  I'm familiar with ICC profiles in the context of photographic images, but I'm still not understanding how that applies here.  I would love to fill in the gaps of my understanding.

- Even if I create the image as an indexed RGB, wherein the color is supplied by the viewing browser (if my understanding is correct) I get the same result.  While color management can change how these values are displayed from device to device, it has no ability to change the actual index value, to my knowledge.

- Moreover, as these are greyscale values, its clear that there is an essential value discrepency that has little to do with color balance or gamut. Changing the working color space does nothing to the relationship of the two values (nor does changing the monitor gamma, for what its worth).

- If I'm understanding your post correctly, then turning Photoshop's color management off ought to solve the problem.  It doesn't.

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

Colour management should be off for Web images but you still have 'working space' compensation.

I have Photoshop CS on MacOSX and I have to set the working space to the monitor RGB AND the proof setup to monitor RGB to get browser colours to match PS colours.

Go to colour setup and set it to Web Graphics defaults.

Open the GIF and check the colour values of the grey with the eyedropper and see what the GIF is.

Synessence Synessence
Posts: 5

Thanks for the tip - that is indeed some maddening behavior on Adobe's part, but at least I can follow the method behind it now.


Peggy Peggy
Posts: 1

sorry to butt in, but I have a similar problem although it's not about pictures - it's just text,
I want yellow text in my page, so I'm writing "999900"
I'm assuming RGB with 2 characters for each
but it comes out green....
am I being a complete imbicile?

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

#999900 should give a yellow oche colour. Bright yellow would be #ffff00. Are you sure that your monitor doesn't have a colour bias?

Jcadre Jcadre
Posts: 6

The color you're using is a dark, greenish yellow on my color palette. I'd say try a brighter, less murky yellow, like #FFFF00 or something close to that.

Maskodok Eko Maskodok Eko
Posts: 171

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