Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Colorizing Charts.

Colorizing Charts

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 29, 2015)

1

If you have a pie chart with a large number of sections, getting unique colors for each section might be a problem. Or, perhaps your printer doesn't print colors exactly as they are on your screen so some colors which appear quite distinct on the screen will print out nearly the same on paper.

Don't despair—you can change the color of any individual section of a pie chart, or any other type of chart for that matter. For pie charts, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the "pie" so that it is surrounded by handles (little squares).
  2. Click again on the section you want to change. The handles will now surround only that section.
  3. Right-click on the section. Excel displays a Context menu.
  4. Choose the Format Data Point option from the Context menu. Excel displays the Format Data Point dialog box.
  5. Click Fill at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Fill options of the Format Data Point dialog box.

  7. Click the Solid Fill radio button. (Feel free to experiment with the other radio buttons, if you prefer.)
  8. Use the Color drop-down list to select the color you want to use for the chart section.
  9. Click on OK. Excel updates your chart.

These steps can be easily adapted to any type of chart. The only difference is that you select the chart object (bar, point, what have you) in the first two steps instead of the pie section.

When I make a chart, I also like to apply this same process to chart titles. I like them to be the same color as the information in the chart to which they apply. This makes identification even clearer.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6295) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Colorizing Charts.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Declaring Variables

Macros depend on the use of variables to do their work. This tip examines how variables are declared in a macro, using the ...

Discover More

Deleting a File in a Macro

Macros give you a great deal of control over creating, finding, renaming, and deleting files. This tip focuses on this last ...

Discover More

Default Formatting for PivotTables

Wish there was a way to define how you want PivotTables formatted before you actually create the PivotTable? You may be out ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (RIBBON)

Reading Values from Graphs

Adding a trendline to a graph will allow you to see trends a bit easier, depending on your data. You can even utilize an ...

Discover More

Negatives in Pie Charts

Pie charts are a great way to graphically display some types of data. Displaying negative values is not so great in pie ...

Discover More

Changing Chart Types

Want to change an existing bar chart to a different type of chart, such as a line chart or a column chart? It's easy to do ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 9?

2015-01-29 13:49:22

Andrew

How do I stop the colors reverting to original everytime I refresh a pivot chart ?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing