How to decide font color in white or black depending on background color? – Dev

The best answers to the question “How to decide font color in white or black depending on background color?” in the category Dev.

QUESTION:

I want to show some images like this examplealt text

The fill color is decided by a field in the data base with the color in hex (ex:ClassX -> Color: #66FFFF).
Now, I want to show data above a fill with the selected color (like in the image above) but i need to know if the color is dark or light so i know if the words should be in white or black.
Is there a way? tks

ANSWER:

I take no credit for this code as it’s not mine, but I leave it here for others to find quickly in the future:

Based on Mark Ransoms answer, here’s a code snippet for the simple version:

function pickTextColorBasedOnBgColorSimple(bgColor, lightColor, darkColor) {
  var color = (bgColor.charAt(0) === '#') ? bgColor.substring(1, 7) : bgColor;
  var r = parseInt(color.substring(0, 2), 16); // hexToR
  var g = parseInt(color.substring(2, 4), 16); // hexToG
  var b = parseInt(color.substring(4, 6), 16); // hexToB
  return (((r * 0.299) + (g * 0.587) + (b * 0.114)) > 186) ?
    darkColor : lightColor;
}

and here’s the code snippet for the advanced version:

function pickTextColorBasedOnBgColorAdvanced(bgColor, lightColor, darkColor) {
  var color = (bgColor.charAt(0) === '#') ? bgColor.substring(1, 7) : bgColor;
  var r = parseInt(color.substring(0, 2), 16); // hexToR
  var g = parseInt(color.substring(2, 4), 16); // hexToG
  var b = parseInt(color.substring(4, 6), 16); // hexToB
  var uicolors = [r / 255, g / 255, b / 255];
  var c = uicolors.map((col) => {
    if (col <= 0.03928) {
      return col / 12.92;
    }
    return Math.pow((col + 0.055) / 1.055, 2.4);
  });
  var L = (0.2126 * c[0]) + (0.7152 * c[1]) + (0.0722 * c[2]);
  return (L > 0.179) ? darkColor : lightColor;
}

To use them just call:

var color="#EEACAE" // this can be any color
pickTextColorBasedOnBgColorSimple(color, '#FFFFFF', '#000000');

Also, thanks Alx and chetstone.

ANSWER:

Building on my answer to a similar question.

You need to break the hex code into 3 pieces to get the individual red, green, and blue intensities. Each 2 digits of the code represent a value in hexadecimal (base-16) notation. I won’t get into the details of the conversion here, they’re easy to look up.

Once you have the intensities for the individual colors, you can determine the overall intensity of the color and choose the corresponding text.

if (red*0.299 + green*0.587 + blue*0.114) > 186 use #000000 else use #ffffff

The threshold of 186 is based on theory, but can be adjusted to taste. Based on the comments below a threshold of 150 may work better for you.


Edit: The above is simple and works reasonably well, and seems to have good acceptance here at StackOverflow. However, one of the comments below shows it can lead to non-compliance with W3C guidelines in some circumstances. Herewith I derive a modified form that always chooses the highest contrast based on the guidelines. If you don’t need to conform to W3C rules then I’d stick with the simpler formula above.

The formula given for contrast in the W3C Recommendations is (L1 + 0.05) / (L2 + 0.05), where L1 is the luminance of the lightest color and L2 is the luminance of the darkest on a scale of 0.0-1.0. The luminance of black is 0.0 and white is 1.0, so substituting those values lets you determine the one with the highest contrast. If the contrast for black is greater than the contrast for white, use black, otherwise use white. Given the luminance of the color you’re testing as L the test becomes:

if (L + 0.05) / (0.0 + 0.05) > (1.0 + 0.05) / (L + 0.05) use #000000 else use #ffffff

This simplifies down algebraically to:

if L > sqrt(1.05 * 0.05) - 0.05

Or approximately:

if L > 0.179 use #000000 else use #ffffff

The only thing left is to compute L. That formula is also given in the guidelines and it looks like the conversion from sRGB to linear RGB followed by the ITU-R recommendation BT.709 for luminance.

for each c in r,g,b:
    c = c / 255.0
    if c <= 0.03928 then c = c/12.92 else c = ((c+0.055)/1.055) ^ 2.4
L = 0.2126 * r + 0.7152 * g + 0.0722 * b

The threshold of 0.179 should not be changed since it is tied to the W3C guidelines. If you find the results not to your liking, try the simpler formula above.

ANSWER:

Additionally to the arithmetic solutions, it’s also possible to use an AI neural network. The advantage is that you can tailor it to your own taste and needs (ie. off-white text on bright saturated reds looks good and is just as readable as black).

Here’s a neat Javascript demo that illustrates the concept. You can also generate your own JS formula right in the demo.

https://harthur.github.io/brain/

Below are some charts that helped me get my mind around the problem.
In the first chart, lightness is a constant 128, while hue and saturation vary. In the second chart, saturation is a constant 255, while hue and lightness vary.

In the first chart, lightness is a constant 128, while hue and saturation vary:

Saturation is a constant 255, while hue and lightness vary:

ANSWER:

How about this (JavaScript code)?

/**
 * Get color (black/white) depending on bgColor so it would be clearly seen.
 * @param bgColor
 * @returns {string}
 */
getColorByBgColor(bgColor) {
    if (!bgColor) { return ''; }
    return (parseInt(bgColor.replace('#', ''), 16) > 0xffffff / 2) ? '#000' : '#fff';
}