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Definition: palette


(1) An on-screen window that displays a group of icons/buttons that represent selections to choose from. Palettes may be fixed or customizable. Although it originated for color choices, the term evolved into generic usage. In contrast to a menu, in which the selections are normally hidden, a palette is like a toolbar with options visible at all times.

(2) The available colors in the computer's hardware or graphics file formats. See indexed color and color palette.

(3) An on-screen sample of available colors that may be selected by the user. For example, in a graphics program, it is used for selecting colors to paint images or draw objects. In a business application, the palette is used to select colors for fonts and backgrounds.