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In Stack Overflow there are many color codes.

Sometimes the number of votes on a question is highlighted with certain colors.
Sometimes the background of the question or answer text is highlighted.

What do these colors mean?

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17  
This questions and the upvotes it has received are indicative that the meaning of the colours (and/or the methods to find out the meaning of the colours) are not obvious enough, especially to new users. Time to strip some colours or add more tool tips or something else to fix this. –  David HAust Feb 20 '12 at 2:16
3  
Been using Stack Overflow for years and remained clueless as to the meaning of the beige background. I agree with @DavidHAust –  Colonel Panic Feb 13 '13 at 13:49
    
I didn't know there were tooltips until now. (It doesn't help that the color coding is different in different stackexchange forums. I'm not arguing against forum-specific colors, but it places additional burden on each forum to make the meaning of colors clear.) –  Mars Aug 31 '13 at 3:33
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1 Answer 1

The colors are designed to draw the user's attention to certain features of the site.

Colors on the "Vote Count" in the question list:

  • The red text means that the question currently has no answers.

    No answers for question

  • The green background means that the question has at least one answer, but not an accepted answer.

    No answer accepted

  • The yellow text on green background means that an "accepted answer" was chosen.

    Accepted answer chosen

Colors in the background of a question summary in the question list:

  • Creme colored, "highlighted" questions contain one of your interesting/favorite tags.

    Questions with interesting tags

    Note that when viewing a question list within one or more of your interesting tags, only questions with one or more additional interesting tags will be highlighted.

  • Faded questions contain one of your ignored tags.

    Questions with ignored tags

  • Questions which are both creme and faded contain both interesting and ignored tags.

    Questions with both interesting and ignored tags

Colors on the background of a question or answer:

  • Answers to questions which are accessed directly using a permalink or by the redirect right after you submit a question glow orange. (This is normal.)

    Glowing submitted answer

  • Answers with score of -3 or lower get light gray text color and so are all comments made on such answers:

  • A blue background on the user information box in the lower-right corner of the answer indicates an answer posted by the asker of the question. The same holds true for comments.

    Answer by the asker

    Comment by the asker

  • Accepted answers are indicated by the green checkmark next to them.

    Accepted answer tick

  • A greyish red background indicates the post is deleted. Deleted posts are only visible to the answer owner (i.e., the answerer), moderators, and users with more than 10K reputation.

    Deleted answer saw by the answerer

Other known colorations

  • Blue highlighted stat text on a question is a bug (in Firefox).

    Firefox blue number bug

  • Views count and comments score both have dynamic text color based on the displayed number, going from ordinary gray to bright orange, class names are "cool", "warm", "hot", and "supernova".

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Added three other colors, the last is possibly a bug but it works ;-). –  Gamecat Nov 10 '08 at 14:51
    
I think if an answer has only received down votes it appears greyed out. If it then gets an upvote it goes back to full black. If that's right it would be useful in telling whether a bad answer has gained a net positive rep. –  Sam Hasler Nov 28 '08 at 22:24
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Adding some screenshots would make this piece of FAQ infinitely more illustrative :) –  Jonik Jan 20 '09 at 13:41
    
As for that bug: Sam152 added a screenshot of blue text on a green background at meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3639/… –  Arjan Dec 22 '09 at 11:23
    
Has the blue background been removed? I answered and accepted my own answer here: stackoverflow.com/questions/2816168/… and there is no blue background on Chrome or IE8, whether I am logged in or not. –  Mark Hurd May 29 '10 at 17:17
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@Matteo: Nice work, now we just need a great edit button. –  Gnome Jun 6 '10 at 14:07
    
Thank you :) ; still, I have to remember to add the other ones when I'll post my next answer. –  Matteo Italia Jun 6 '10 at 15:26
    
At last, I added the last screenshot (deleted answer); mission completed. :) –  Matteo Italia Jun 26 '10 at 16:05
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Great answer thanks a lot. Can this be moved to the FAQ by any chance or is there something similiar in the FAQ. –  Pranav Shah Apr 1 '11 at 15:46
    
Question summaries in the list are not highlighted if the list has been filtered by one of your favourite tags and those questions are not tagged with any of your other favourite tags. –  jah Oct 11 '11 at 19:17
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Great answer. However, shouldn't there be an official link on the main page (questions page) to this kind of information? Named "conventions used on this page" or the like. –  Olivier Jacot-Descombes Nov 29 '11 at 14:12
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It looks like the FF bug has been fixed in the mean time. –  Mihai Todor Sep 14 '12 at 11:22
    
Is there any way to see if you have already given an answer to a question in the "Vote count" on the "question list"? –  jokklan Jun 19 '13 at 14:36
    
@jokklan nope, such thing does not exist at the moment. –  Shadow Wizard Oct 15 '13 at 10:22
    
Could you possibly change the image used for The blue background on the user information box...? I feel that because the avatar in that image happens to have a blue background, it makes it confusing for new users. –  aug Jan 28 at 22:14
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