A Jitter matrix in which the cells represent colored pixels—such as a video—normally has four planes of 8-bit (char) data, representing the values of the alpha, red, green, and blue components of the color. If you wanted to reduce the bit depth of that color information to fewer than 8 bits, which would reduce the total number of colors in the image, a simple way to do that is to shift all the bits to the right (so that the least significant bits are lost), then shift them back.
Utilizing the message box’s bgcolor attribute, it's possible to change a message’s color in when it is selected, so as to indicate which message is currently selected.
You can change the color of text in most Max UI objects with the textcolor attribute. Note that the color must be specified in the RGBA format—red, green, blue, and alpha (opacity)—rather than simply RGB. That is, textcolor requires four arguments, and will not work with only three.