8-Bit Color

On a computer monitor, a color display in which each pixel (or smallest point of color) is described by 8 bits of information. (One bit is either a 1 or a 0; 8-Bit color can be thought of as one of these two numbers taken to the eighth power; thus 28 = 256 possible colors.) The color of a pixel on a computer display is commonly expressed as some amount of red, green, and blue. Greater numbers of combinations of these amounts require more processing power on the part of the computer. At 8 bits per pixel, a total of 256 colors can be described and displayed. (Some programs allow you to specify which colors can be included in that palette.) The 8-Bit, 256-color monitor is also known as VGA (Video Graphics Array), and is a default set-up for many monitors. Although this color depth is the standard and/or required setting for many CD-ROMs and multimedia programs, it is insufficient for high-quality graphic arts reproduction. See also 16-Bit Color, 24-Bit Color, and 32-Bit Color. Computer monitors can also display 1-Bit color (black and white, or any two colors) and 4-Bit color (16 colors).

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