Rainbow Series

What Does Rainbow Series Mean?

The “rainbow series” is a number of books and manuals with differently colored covers. One of the most common references to the rainbow series refers to a set of security manuals put out by the U.S. Department of Defense National Computer Security Council, where books had many different-colored and brightly colored covers.


Techopedia Explains Rainbow Series

In addition to the NCSC rainbow series, which covered aspects of computer security and security protocol, other sets of books have also been called a “rainbow series.” For example, there is the series of books involved in documenting standard references for PostScript, a page description language developed in the 1970s, which included a red book, green book, blue book and white book.

The general idea is that a series of manuals developed with distinctive colored covers is referred to in shorthand by their colors, and the entire series is referred to as a rainbow or “crayola” series – even in the digital age, print manuals and instructions books can be critically important, and part of what someone might call a “programmer’s bible” or other handy reference.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.