does it matter if I specify a color as a hex code or upload it as an image?

If i use a color, say f4b96c, which is a type of orange --
 if the user has an old monitor with only a few colors,
 does it matter if i specify it as a color f4b96c or if i load it as an image? if i specify it as a color, do they see the nearest web-safe color, but if i load it as an image, they see it the way i do?
rarkAsked:
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lherrouConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Rark,

As others have indicated, using the hex color will cause the color to default to the nearest web safe color. Using an image your results may vary, because shades or gradations of colors in the image may default to different colors, causing sudden transitions when you wanted a smooth transition. So, you are generally better off with specifying a color than using an image.

As BongSoo's link indicates, the number of users still using Windows 3.1 or something similar is not appreciably different from zero these days. If you have to work around a particular user, you may be better off educating or upgrading them then worrying about this issue.

Cheers,
LHerrou
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WMIFCommented:
it depends on the system and the browser used.  macs have different system color palletes than windows machines.  if the machine viewing either the color value or the image doesnt have that color in its pallete, then it should make its best guess at the replacement color.
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rarkAuthor Commented:
so you are saying they will see a color the same way on their screen regardless of whether i present it as a hex code or as an image, is that right?  if their machines changes the color, it will change the color the same way regardless of whether I present it as a hex code or an image?
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WMIFCommented:
i havent really tested it all that much, so i dont know for sure.  i believe that the system handles the colors of the images displaying and it makes a little bit better of a guess than when the browser handles the hex code.
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BongSooConnect With a Mentor Commented:
http://www.lynda.com/hex.asp

This explains some of the issues and has a nice chart that shows the 'web safe' colors.

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rarkAuthor Commented:
great.  That's what I needed to know.  thank you!
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