Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. 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: Showing RGB Colors in a Cell.

Showing RGB Colors in a Cell

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated May 2, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


1

Dennis wants to fill three cells (A1:A3) with RGB values and have another cell (C1) show the color based on those values. He wonders if there is an easy way to do this.

The easiest way to do this is to use a macro that grabs the values in A1:A3 and then modifies the color of cell C1 based on those values. Ideally, the macro should check to make sure that the values in the source cells are in the range of 0 through 255. The following macro works great for this purpose:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    If Not Intersect(Target, Range("A1:A3")) Is Nothing Then
        lRed = Abs(Range("A1").Value) Mod 256
        lGreen = Abs(Range("A2").Value) Mod 256
        lBlue = Abs(Range("A3").Value) Mod 256

        Range("C1").Interior.Color = RGB(lRed, lGreen, lBlue)
    End If
End Sub

Note that this macro should be added to the code for the worksheet on which the cells exist. (Just right-click the sheet tab and choose View Code, then add the macro there.) It is an event handler that is automatically run every time there is a change in cell A1, A2, or A3. The values in those cells are ensured to be between 0 and 255 by taking the absolute value of the cell contents and using the remainder (modulo) of dividing it by 256.

The macro only works when you manually change a value in the range of A1:A3 (your RGB values). If the values in that range are the result of formulas, then it won't work properly because you aren't manually changing the cells. In that case, you should use this simpler modification of the macro:

Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
    lRed = Abs(Range("A1").Value) Mod 256
    lGreen = Abs(Range("A2").Value) Mod 256
    lBlue = Abs(Range("A3").Value) Mod 256

    Range("C1").Interior.Color = RGB(lRed, lGreen, lBlue)
End Sub

This version updates the color anytime something is changed in the worksheet, regardless of where the change occurs.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9092) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Showing RGB Colors in a Cell.

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

Slowing Down Mouse Selection

We've all experienced the problem: You start selecting a large block of text using the mouse, and before you know it the ...

Discover More

No Ribbon on New Documents

The way that you work with commands in Word is primarily through the ribbon. What do you do if the ribbon disappears when ...

Discover More

Limiting the Number of Characters in a Cell

Need to limit the number of characters that can be entered into a cell? One easy way to do it is through the use of Data ...

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)

Using Named Ranges in a Macro

Named ranges are a great capability provided by Excel. You can define all sorts of named ranges in a workbook, but how do ...

Discover More

Using InputBox to Get Data

Need your macro to get some input from a user? The standard way to do this is with the InputBox function, described in ...

Discover More

Creating Worksheets with a Macro

Using a macro to add worksheets to your workbook is easy. This tip provides two different methods you can use.

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

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 3 + 7?

2020-10-27 10:34:07

Stephan

Hi, thanks for the code for the coloring of cells acording to rgb values. Is there also a way you can put that in a for loop to fill multiple rows at once. Counting the rows always +1 after each loop. Thank you in advance.


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.