Re: Screen sizes for Web pages.

Subject: Re: Screen sizes for Web pages.
From: Geoff Hammond <gah -at- WERPLE -dot- MIRA -dot- NET -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 1996 11:00:48 +1100


Whilst I am writing this on a screen that is set to 800x600x256, I think that there are probably loads of people who will be sitting at screens that cover the whole gamut of screen resolutions, colour depths, etc. This is one of the things to remember when designing a Web page.

You should design your page so that it looks okay on the range of screen options. This can be a bit tricky, but results in a screen that is readable by more people.

I tend to design for 800x600x256, but test on 640x480 and 1024x768 - the more common options for Windows-based systems - although I guess/hope that users with different screen resolutions won't suffer. This often requires careful use of centred tables and specifying frame/table/rule sizes in percentages, rather than pixels.

If your page may be viewed on a 640x480 screen without horizontal scrolling, then those with higher screen resolutions will simply have longer text lines, smaller pics and a bit more white space.

As a rule of thumb, if you write good HTML, then most of your problems will go away. I recommend using a validation parser such as the Webtechs Validation Service ('') to check your pages and testing your pages in (at least) both the 'big two' browsers - there will be differences.

On the subject of image colours, the 'big two' browsers use a pallette (sp?) of 216 colours to render images. The other 40 colours are 'system' colours that are used for picture transparency and other stuff that I don't know about. If you place a 256 colour GIF image on your Web page, then the browser will dither to 216 colours, resulting in an image that may not look as you expect. For those who use Adobe's Photoshop, there is a Photoshop pallette (sp?) file on their site ('') that allows you to create graphics in the 216 colours. Other people have dreamed up ways of showing this (I cannot remember any of the URLs, but use your search engine to look for 'Netscape Pallette' (sp?) and you should come up with something -

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