Use colour with discretion

Primary and basic colours

Enable colour by putting into the preamble \usepackage{xcolor}.

The following, along with black and white, are the core colours. They are switched in by the command \color{name}: the scope is delimited by braces or by the current environment.

  • Primary colours
  • red
  • green
  • blue
  • cyan
  • yellow
  • magenta
  • Other colours
  • brown
  • darkgray
  • gray
  • lightgray
  • lime
  • olive
  • orange
  • pink
  • purple
  • teal
  • violet

One may produce colours between any of these by using !nn! for any percentage nn. For example, obtain a dark green with \color{green!45!black} which is a mix of 45% green and 55% black. Or perhaps obtain a pastel pink with \color{red!20!white} which is 20% red and 80% white.

Use such colours consistently

  • Use black body text as any other text colour badly affects reader's comprehension (Priestly, 1991).
  • Use a style file to implement colours consistently --- see mystyle.sty for example.
  • In graphics use colours that have a more-or-less uniform 'intensity' (chroma), such as the solarized colours (implemented as a colormap for Matlab/Octave in solarized.m), or such as the default in post-2016 versions of Matlab.

Sixty-six more colours

Make the following 66 more colours available using \usepackage[dvipsnames]{xcolor} (thanks to Wikipedia for this table).

Name Color   Name Color
Apricot     Aquamarine  
Bittersweet     Black  
Blue     BlueGreen  
BlueViolet     BrickRed  
Brown     BurntOrange  
CadetBlue     CarnationPink  
Cerulean     CornflowerBlue  
Cyan     Dandelion  
DarkOrchid     Emerald  
ForestGreen     Fuchsia  
Goldenrod     Gray  
Green     GreenYellow  
JungleGreen     Lavender  
LimeGreen     Magenta  
Mahogany     Maroon  
Melon     MidnightBlue  
Mulberry     NavyBlue  
OliveGreen     Orange  
OrangeRed     Orchid  
Peach     Periwinkle  
PineGreen     Plum  
ProcessBlue     Purple  
RawSienna     Red  
RedOrange     RedViolet  
Rhodamine     RoyalBlue  
RoyalPurple     RubineRed  
Salmon     SeaGreen  
Sepia     SkyBlue  
SpringGreen     Tan  
TealBlue     Thistle  
Turquoise     Violet  
VioletRed     White  
WildStrawberry     Yellow  
YellowGreen     YellowOrange