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Web Developers: Is it gray or grey?

November 2nd, 2005 by Jim

I am constantly forgetting the correct spelling of “gray” when it comes to using named web colors. Hopefully this post will help me to never get it wrong again. 🙂

I have listed the seven (7) named web colors that have the word gray or grey within their spelling. Only lightgrey is spelled with an e, while the other six (6) are spelled with an a. The list also shows you how well your browser will handle the misspelled color names.

Correct (Sample)   Incorrect (Sample)
lightgrey     lightgray  
gray     grey  
darkgray     darkgrey  
dimgray     dimgrey  
lightslategray     lightslategrey  
slategray     slategrey  
darkslategray     darkslategrey  

Many browsers, such as Mozilla, Firefox, and Opera, honor either spelling, but Internet Explorer 6 ignores the misspelled forms of gray. I have also read that Internet Explorer 5.5 and lower will substitute random colors, such as fuchsia, possibly to draw your attention to the common misspelling. Since Internet Explorer is still the most widely used browser with approximately 90% of the market, it is very important to spell these color names correctly!

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Revision History

2005.11.06 Added an icon to the top of the article.
2005.11.02 Initial revision.

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