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Using HSL values

From: CSS: Core Concepts

Video: Using HSL values

HSL stands for hue, saturation and lightness and represents a fairly recent addition to CSS in terms of being another option for defining color. Now HSL is defined as a mixture of a color's hue, saturation and lightness value. Sometimes it's referred to as brightness. A color's hue is represented as an angle on the color wheel as such as the color wheel you're seeing here, with ranges from 0 to 360. Now red is at 0 and 360, it's kind of at both if them. Green is at 120, blue is at 240 and all those other colors such as a yellow, orange and violet are found between those values as you just sort of go around that color wheel.

Using HSL values

HSL stands for hue, saturation and lightness and represents a fairly recent addition to CSS in terms of being another option for defining color. Now HSL is defined as a mixture of a color's hue, saturation and lightness value. Sometimes it's referred to as brightness. A color's hue is represented as an angle on the color wheel as such as the color wheel you're seeing here, with ranges from 0 to 360. Now red is at 0 and 360, it's kind of at both if them. Green is at 120, blue is at 240 and all those other colors such as a yellow, orange and violet are found between those values as you just sort of go around that color wheel.

Saturation represents the amount of color, how much color a particular shade has. With 100% being fully saturated and 0% being grayscale.Lightness is how bright or dark the color is, and just like saturation it's defined using a percentage with 100% being very bright such as white and 0% being black. So now that we sort of know how HSL works, let's go take a look at the syntax and experiment with using it. And to do that, we are going to work on the hsl.htm file.

You can find this one on the 06_04 directory. It's very much like the last two files that we worked on here. We have our HSL colors headline and then a paragraph below it. We are going to be setting HSL values for the background, and for the foreground color. In my opinion, HSL is a little bit more intuitive, if you are just trying to mix a color on the fly. Remember the values for the color wheel that we talked about, reds are in the 0-360 range and little bit on either side of that. Your green is at 120, blue is at 240 and those values kind of in the middle there, so if you know which are going for, it's pretty easy to start of with a hue and see if you getting it right and then adding or subtracting from the values, to get the color that you are looking for.

Let's take a look at how that will work and how the syntax works. So I am going to go into the background here, and I am going to type in hsl and then once again, you just have open and close parenthesis. So the syntax is very much like RGB. What differs from RGB however are the three values that you pass in terms of how those are formatted. The first value that you pass in is the position on the color wheel that you want to start at, the hue. And this is represented just by a single number, so whatever you want that number to be. So let's say we want to start at a blue. Remember our color value is of 240.

So I am just going to type 240 in. Now your separate these values with commas just like you do in the RGB, color notation, and then we follow these with two percentage values. The first percentage value is saturation, the second percentage value is brightness. Let's say that we crank the saturation way up. So I do 100%. And then I can experiment a little bit of brightness. Let's keep this color pretty bright for the background originally. Let's say, I do something like 85%, okay. So if I save this and preview this in one of my browsers, there's our blue color very saturated, very bright.

And if I go back in to my file, I can just move this hue around a little bit. Let's say I go to 150 so if I save this, and preview it. You notice, I am moving in towards the greens, if I go below 120 maybe somewhere around 60, if I save that and test it I get into my yellows, if I get down into say the 15 or so that should be in my reds. This indeed you can see a sort of an orangish red color or pinkish color if you will, and if I go the opposite way, let's say I go to say 280, if I save this and test it.

You see I am going more towards the purple. So once you understand where the position on the color wheel is for these, it becomes a little bit more intuitive. All right, so what if you want to do white and black. Or let's say I want to have a black background and a white foreground. If you want to do that, the position on the hue doesn't really matter. What does matter are your saturation and your brightness. So if I take the saturation down to zero and zero and then do another hsl value here for color so let's just say hsl and then again it's not going to matter here what I do so let's say, I do something like ((20, 100%, 100%);).

So if I save this, and preview it, I get exactly what I was looking for, I get black and white. So I want you to play around with these colors a little bit. I am going to settle on a background color of 25 and the white space between the commas doesn't matter, just helps me read it, 40% for saturation and 20% for brightness, and then for the foreground color, I am going to use a hue of 20 a saturation of 100% and a brightness value of 100%. So can you guess the color that these are going to be using? If I save this, preview that in my browser, I get sort of a dark brown color for the background and sort of a bright color for the foreground.

So play around these values a little bit. See if you can start mixing colors together intuitively like, hey, I want a green, I want a bright green, I want a dark green, I want a de-saturated green, or I want a bright purple and you start working those and see if they sort to make sense to you in terms of mixing these colors together after a little while. It may take a little bit of getting used to, but I think it's a lot more natural way of defining colors once you get the hang of it. And once you know the relative values of the color on the hue color wheel that we're talking about, then mixing the exact value you want, is usually pretty intuitive.

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This video is part of

Image for CSS: Core Concepts
CSS: Core Concepts

81 video lessons · 40771 viewers

James Williamson
Author

 
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  1. 4m 57s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 2s
  2. 1h 7m
    1. Exploring default styling
      4m 56s
    2. CSS authoring tools
      2m 29s
    3. CSS syntax
      4m 45s
    4. Writing a selector
      4m 10s
    5. Setting properties
      8m 40s
    6. Common units of measurement
      7m 47s
    7. Inline styles
      5m 1s
    8. Embedded styles
      5m 19s
    9. Using external style sheets
      10m 34s
    10. Checking for browser support
      8m 48s
    11. Dealing with browser inconsistencies
      5m 30s
  3. 2h 15m
    1. Structuring HTML correctly
      2m 51s
    2. Element selectors
      4m 52s
    3. Class selectors
      6m 4s
    4. ID selectors
      3m 27s
    5. Using classes and IDs
      10m 7s
    6. Element-specific selectors
      4m 35s
    7. The universal selector
      5m 42s
    8. Grouping selectors
      4m 49s
    9. Descendent selectors
      7m 32s
    10. Child selectors
      5m 7s
    11. Adjacent selectors
      5m 30s
    12. Attribute selectors
      12m 43s
    13. Pseudo-class selectors
      3m 54s
    14. Dynamic pseudo-class selectors
      8m 29s
    15. Structural pseudo-class selectors
      6m 45s
    16. Nth-child selectors
      13m 10s
    17. Pseudo-element selectors
      12m 40s
    18. Targeting page content: Lab
      8m 56s
    19. Targeting page content: Solution
      7m 59s
  4. 42m 39s
    1. What happens when styles conflict?
      4m 0s
    2. Understanding the cascade
      5m 47s
    3. Using inheritance
      6m 11s
    4. Selector specificity
      6m 55s
    5. The !important declaration
      4m 5s
    6. Reducing conflicts through planning
      3m 33s
    7. Resolving conflicts: Lab
      6m 45s
    8. Resolving conflicts: Solution
      5m 23s
  5. 1h 47m
    1. Setting a font family
      7m 10s
    2. Using @font-face
      9m 18s
    3. Setting font size
      7m 35s
    4. Font style and font weight
      6m 52s
    5. Transforming text
      3m 58s
    6. Using text variants
      2m 49s
    7. Text decoration options
      4m 26s
    8. Setting text color
      3m 2s
    9. Writing font shorthand notation
      8m 49s
    10. Controlling text alignment
      6m 33s
    11. Letter and word spacing
      9m 11s
    12. Indenting text
      4m 30s
    13. Adjusting paragraph line height
      10m 30s
    14. Controlling the space between elements
      6m 41s
    15. Basic text formatting: Lab
      8m 45s
    16. Basic text formatting: Solution
      7m 14s
  6. 2h 1m
    1. Understanding the box model
      16m 53s
    2. Controlling element spacing
      14m 29s
    3. Controlling interior spacing
      10m 49s
    4. Margin and padding shorthand notation
      6m 27s
    5. Adding borders
      8m 57s
    6. Defining element size
      10m 7s
    7. Creating rounded corners
      6m 58s
    8. Background properties
      2m 51s
    9. Using background images
      5m 10s
    10. Controlling image positioning
      10m 25s
    11. Using multiple backgrounds
      7m 5s
    12. Background shorthand notation
      5m 25s
    13. Styling container elements: Lab
      7m 55s
    14. Styling container elements: Solution
      8m 17s
  7. 47m 51s
    1. Color keyword definitions
      5m 4s
    2. Understanding hexadecimal notation
      6m 5s
    3. Using RGB values
      4m 58s
    4. Using HSL values
      5m 17s
    5. Working with opacity
      2m 23s
    6. Using RGBa and HSLa
      3m 8s
    7. Styling drop shadows
      5m 38s
    8. CSS gradients
      6m 32s
    9. Working with color: Lab
      4m 26s
    10. Working with color: Solution
      4m 20s
  8. 1m 58s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 58s

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