Change Default Chart Colours

How to change default chart colours to match your corporate colours

Change Default Chart Colours

You’ll notice that when you set up a graph in Excel, the way the colours come out follow a pattern. There is a default- so the first series is always in this case a blue, then a red, then a green. You may find that because of your corporate colours, or for whatever reason, this is a problem and every time you set up a graph you are having to change the default chart colours to match your area. There is a way to get around this and to change these colours and this is the best way to do it.

In this case the setting is not under the Chart Tools but rather you need to go to the Page Layout. If I go to Page Layout, you’ll see there is something under Themes called Colours. When I click on the Colours you’ll see a whole range of options exist, and you’ll notice that the Office option is the one that seems to be active. If you look carefully, ignoring the first two, notice that there is a blue, which is our first one and then it goes red, green, purple, etc. If we hover over here, for example, notice what’s happening to the graph. It’s telling me that if you choose one of these options, that is what the default will look like. So if I go to that one, you’ll see which colours will come out. If you are lucky, one of these will be the colour that you want to use, but if not, it is not a problem. We go here to say “create a new theme colour”, click on it and you’ll see it is now just a case of working through this. In the first few colours you just specify how Excel must treat text versus background and what colours should appear. But for your graphs, this here, will decide what colour your graph is. So let’s say, for whatever reason, the first colour we want here is always a red. Notice over here we are told what it is going to look like. The second colour must appear – let’s make it a black. So we can work through here and just choose a different sequence of colours. OK. I can then give it a name- Let’s just call it “Video Clips”, I am going to say Save it and notice now that the chart is in the order we have specified it is in.

It is important to realize that if you change these colours, not only does this chart change – but let’s go to some of the other charts in the spreadsheet and notice that all their colours have changed as well. This is because you have changed the underlying theme and while this theme is on, any spreadsheets or any graphs that open will show these colours. So if you don’t want to show these colours, you go back to the Page Layout, click on colours- there is the option we chose – Video Clips and here are a few other customized ones. If we want to go back to Office, we go here and we click – this chart is back to the standard colours and you’ll notice all the others are as well.