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Generate and Set Pseudorandom Hexadecimal Background Color Using JavaScript

Nicholas Fazzolari on December 22, 2018

I'm working on a project that deals with pseudo random event-driven color changes and needed a solution to generate hexadecimal codes for web use. ...
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Basti Ortiz (Some Dood) • Edited

This is a great read for beginners. I also wondered how to make a random color generator before in my early days.

Also, you don't need to add an id to the <body> tag; you can directly refer to it by writing document.body. 😉

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Chiffre • Edited

TL;DR - you don't want to use that

@dood also every #ID is in DOM is accessible via window[id] however it's diacouraged to use that because it was implemnted in browsers due historic and compatibility reasons. More info here. It can be removed in future and make your page not working. Check answers and comments too. What I wanted to say is that window.body could be accessible because of same reason (I'm not sure).

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Basti Ortiz (Some Dood)

Oh, wow. I never even knew that you could access an id from the window object. Thanks for making me learn something new today! I am genuinely surprised and amused by this.

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Nicholas Fazzolari Author

Thanks for the heads up. Does using id's to link js to the DOM hurt performance (at scale)?

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Antonin Januska

I saw a tweet about this last week! Using document.querySelector('body') is actually more performant than using document.body. So I wonder if doing document.querySelector('#some-id') would still be faster than document.body! :)

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Basti Ortiz (Some Dood)

I wonder if there's a jsPerf for that by now. I'm really curious to see which method is more performant.

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Basti Ortiz (Some Dood)

Yes, it's definitely going to hurt performance at scale. Though you shouldn't worry about too much unless it's completely necessary to optimize and squeeze every single bit of efficiency for your CPU.

Optimization is good, but as soon as you allow it to become premature optimization, that's when you should reconsider your priorities. You wouldn't want to allow the latter to get in the way of making actual progress in software development.

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Jon Randy • Edited
randomHexColour = ()=>'#'+(~~(Math.random()*(2<<23))).toString(16).padStart(6,0);
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Nicholas Fazzolari Author • Edited

This is awesome! Now I get to spend this afternoon understanding the code. Thank you.

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stereobooster • Edited
() => `#${Math.floor(Math.random()*(16777215 + 1)).toString(16).padStart(6,"0")}`
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Pascal

A while ago I played around with something similar. I needed to generate a bunch of random colors but that always looked awful, so i ended up writing this little snippet:

/* @param alpha boolean
* if true a random value for the alpha channel is calculated, else alpha channel = 1 (full saturation)
*/
var randomPastelColor = function (alpha) {
  var rndm = function (f) { return Math.floor(Math.random() * f)},
  pstlfy = function (p) { return Math.round((p + 255) / 2)},
  r = pstlfy(rndm(256)),
  g = pstlfy(rndm(256)),
  b = pstlfy(rndm(256)),
  a = alpha ? rndm(11) / 10 : 1

  return 'rgba(' + r + ',' + g + ',' + b + ',' + a + ')'
}

gist.github.com/herrfugbaum/7a6530... (I didn't get the embedding working 😂)

It generates random pastel colors, which are easier on the eyes in my opinion. The trick to "pastelify" is to just take each individual value add 255 (or FF) and divide it by two ✨

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Andrea Giammarchi • Edited
function generateRandomHexColor() {
  const rgb = () => ('0' + (Math.random() * 256).toString(16)).slice(-2);
  return `#${rgb()}${rgb()}${rgb()}`;
}
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Vincent Milum Jr

Have you considered using .toString(16)? Also, what about just using actual CSS integer RGB values instead of hex? Seems like either could simplify this. :)

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Craig McIlwrath

toString(16) has the problem of numbers like 14 ending up being one character long, so you need a left pad function. rgb color values are the best solution, imo (or hsl)

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Filip Defar • Edited

Interesting problem! Here's my attempt of solving it in more functional programming style, without converting it into a convoluted one-liner. codepen.io/dabrorius/pen/MdPXxB

EDIT:
Scratch that! There's a simpler implementation: codepen.io/dabrorius/pen/xNyJMO

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Jon Randy

Just noticed, your first image is wrong - it specifies the pattern as RBG, it should be RGB

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Nicholas Fazzolari Author

Man! I proof read it and a major problem still slipped through. Thanks for the heads up. Fixing it up.

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Jim Wright

Nice work! Just one thing...I think your max on the hexSeed needs to be 16 or you won't ever get an F.

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Nicholas Fazzolari Author

Thanks for pointing that out.