True Color

What Does True Color Mean?

True color is a display specification that uses a 24-bit value for the RGB color space, resulting in 16,777,216 color variations. The specification provides a method for storing and representing image information using the RGB color space in such a way that a very large number of shades, colors and hues can be defined in an image, which results in images and graphics with very high image quality and complexity.


Techopedia Explains True Color

True color is an RGB color model standard that specifies 256 shades for red, green and blue spaces, totaling 16 million colors, much more than what the human eye can distinguish, which is only 10 million colors. This allows for very complex graphics and images, hence the name.

True color also refers to displays or screens that use the RGB display mode and do not need a color look-up table. Each sub-pixel of red, green and blue contains 8 bits of information, and if a fourth byte is present it is used for alpha channel information or simply ignored. If a system has a fourth byte for the alpha channel, this is then referred to as a 32-bit true-color display, which uses the RGBA color display, where "A" is the alpha channel. If a 32-bit display is forced to revert to a 24-bit mode, then the alpha channel is dropped, which disables transparency and translucency effects but has no effect on the color depth, unless it goes further down towards an 8- or 16-bit color depth.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse 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 explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…