General - Warcraft III Color Codes in Depth

Tutorial By Xorifelse

Warcraft III Color Codes
Author: [email protected]
Date: Sunday, 25 January, 2009
Credits: StealthOfKing helped me a very little bit because my own calculations brought me in despair.

Introduction:
To display colors in text with Warcraft III, we wrap around the word a specific text that Warcraft III recognized and replaces it with colors.
To fully understand this, you must fully know how this works so you would never have to get help for this any time!
What I'm about to explain may come in handy in the future as well I will go into full detail.

Color:
We all know that there are 3 primary colors:
• Red• Green• Blue

Usually when we talk about these colors, we sum it up to RGB.

RGB:
Each primary color can be called a channel, sometimes there is a fourth channel as well call Alpha.
The Alpha channel handles transparency, and the four combined can be called "RGBA".
Each of these channels requires 1 byte so that the computer can render the entire color.

Byte:
1 byte exists of 8 bits, when we talk about bits we talk about binary code which exists of 1 and 0.
The binary code is the language the computer understands.
Below is a table on how binairy works, and how a number is calculated from it.
Since 1 byte is 8 bits, we start from right multiplying by 2.

Binary #2 has every bit set to 1 which means that 8 bits ( 1 byte ) can hold a maximum value of 255. However, you don't need any bits to create a 0, so that means the byte range is 0-255 which is 256 placeholders.
You might think, there are a lot of colors no way it can all be stored in 1 byte, and you are correct. However, we parse 1 byte to every channel meaning 256 * 256 * 256 is 16777216 different colors (24-bit), excluding the alpha channel, which would raise that number to 4294967296 which is a 32-bit color depth.

However we need a more human friendlier way to represent those 4 separate bytes because it's inconvenient for us and inefficient for the computer.
So in order to resolve both issues we need to compress each byte with a numeral system so this will reduce the cost of your computer's memory and we need to make a more friendly representation for a color code.
There are a couple of numeral systems out there, but the one mainly used for color codes is base-16 otherwise known as hexadecimal.

It is known as base-16 because it exists of 16 unique characters. Those characters are:

Hexadecimals primary use is for a friendly way to represent a binary code, however we won't be doing any binary code with Warcraft III.
What we want is to store our 4 bytes into 1 value that holds our entire color code. So why did I bring this up?

Hexadecimal color strings come in pairs of 2, because the hex range [0-15] 16 * 16 = 256.
And since RGBA wants a 4 bytes in range of 0-255 the hexadecimal system is perfect for it.
This means, 4*2 = 8 characters long for your color string. It would change RGBA to RRGGBBAA.

Lets convert a hexadecimal to a decimal.

As you can see, we managed to store values like 255 in 2 characters instead of 3 and we managed to get it all in 1 string.
An RGBA string is always 8 characters long and since we managed to chop 1 character of each 4 bytes down we spared ourselves 1 byte as well!

Color Codes:
Thought you were gonna learn only how to color a string eh, well we're getting there.
We don't have to work with binary, neither decimals but what we learned is how to create a hex string knowing what color it will create.
Now lets put it into use.

Everywhere, where ever you look a hex color string is represented as "RRGGBBAA", however we all know that the coding behind Warcraft III is terrible and some things are even incomplete!
Only in Warcraft III a hex color string is represented as "AARRGGBB".
But on top of that the alpha channel can't be rendered by Warcraft III!
We need to fill in every argument of the string including the alpha values, hilarious ain't it?!

How you can colorize a string is simple you have a begin tag "|c" and an end tag "|r".
After the "|c" you will in your AARRGGBB hex code and right after that the text you want to have colored.
Once you want to exit the color, simple add "|r" behind it.
Pretty much the same as forum BB tags, but a little different. Some examples:

|c00FF0000This String Is ?|r RED!
|c0000FF00This String Is ?|r GREEN!
|c000000FFThis String Is ?|r BLUE!
|c00FF9900This String Is ?|r ???!

This is a table of all player related data on color strings and RGB values.

Side Notes:
We used Hex only for a color string at this very moment, don't get it confused with a real hexadecimal value.
The conversion works the same, though it is an integer instead of a string.
This is however only accessible by (v)Jass, and it's done like this.

Also here is a large list of RGB color codes, giving you examples of the color. Just add the Alpha value of 00 before the code to make it work with Warcraft III.