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What is the color 255 in Java?

In Java, colors are represented as integers. The color value 255 represents the color white. This is because colors in Java are stored as ARGB values – a combination of alpha (transparency), red, green, and blue color components. Each component is represented by an 8-bit value from 0 to 255.

The alpha value controls transparency – 0 is fully transparent, and 255 is fully opaque. For red, green and blue, a value of 0 means no amount of that color, while 255 means the full amount. White contains the maximum amount of all three colors.

So in an ARGB value, white is represented as:

  • A (alpha): 255 – fully opaque
  • R (red): 255 – full amount of red
  • G (green): 255 – full amount of green
  • B (blue): 255 – full amount of blue

When combined together into a single integer, this gives us:

(255 << 24) | (255 << 16) | (255 << 8) | 255

Which equals 16777215 in decimal, or FF FF FF in hexadecimal.

For simplicity, Java allows us to just use the value 255 to represent white instead of the full ARGB value.

Representing Colors in Java

There are a few ways to represent colors in Java:

1. Using RGB Integers

As mentioned above, this involves specifying the red, green and blue components as values from 0 to 255:

int white = 255; 
int black = 0;
int red = 255;
int green = 0; 
int blue = 0;

2. Using Hexadecimal Notation

This represents the color as a hex string, which allows us to specify alpha as well:

String white = "#FFFFFF"; 
String black = "#000000";
String red = "#FF0000";
String green = "#00FF00";
String blue = "#0000FF";

3. Using Color Constants

Java has some pre-defined color constants we can use:

Color white = Color.WHITE;
Color black = Color.BLACK; 
Color red = Color.RED;
Color green = Color.GREEN;
Color blue = Color.BLUE; 

4. Using the Color class

We can create Color objects by specifying the RGB or ARGB values:

Color white = new Color(255, 255, 255);
Color whiteAlpha = new Color(255, 255, 255, 255); 

The Color class also allows us to get color components separately if needed:

Color c = new Color(255, 0, 0); 
int red = c.getRed(); // 255

Commonly Used Colors

Here are some commonly used color values in Java and what they represent:

Color Value Color Name
0 Black
255 White
16711680 Red
65280 Green
255 Blue
16776960 Yellow
16711935 Magenta
65535 Cyan
8421504 Gray
16744576 Light Gray
12632256 Dark Gray

Using Colors in Java

Once we have a color represented in one of the ways above, we can use it in Java in a few ways:

Setting a Paint Color

To set a Graphics context to draw in a certain color:

Graphics g = ...;
g.fillOval(0, 0, 100, 100); // draws a red circle

Setting a Component Color

Setting the background of a component like JPanel or JButton:

JPanel panel = new JPanel();
panel.setBackground(new Color(0, 191, 255)); // light blue

Comparing Colors

We can compare Color objects to see if they are the same color:

Color c1 = new Color(255, 0, 0);
Color c2 = new Color(255, 0, 0);
if (c1.equals(c2)) {
  // colors are equal 

The equals() method compares the RGB values.

Creating Color Gradient

We can create a gradient between two colors by interpolating the RGB channels:

int steps = 10;
Color start = Color.RED; 
Color end = Color.BLUE;

for (int i = 0; i 


The color value 255 in Java represents the color white. This is because colors are stored as ARGB values, with each component ranging from 0 to 255. White contains the maximum amount of all three RGB colors.

Some key points:

  • Colors can be specified as RGB integers, hex strings, Color constants or Color objects
  • Commonly used colors have predefined integer values like 0 for black and 255 for white
  • Colors in Java can be used for painting, component backgrounds, comparisons and gradients

By understanding how color values work in Java, we can effectively use color in our programs' user interfaces and graphics.