The newer versions of Excel do a much better job at the visual design aspect of charts than previous versions. However, from time-to-time you still might want to customize your chart colors to match your slides or a corporate branding/style guide, etc.
The good news is that it couldn’t be much more straightforward!
The first thing you might want to check is if there are any suitable chart color schemes built-in already. Just select your chart and look at the options under the Change Colors button on the Chart Tools » Design tab.
If that doesn’t do the trick for you fear not, you can make each data series any color you want.
Customize Each Data Series
1. Select the part of the chart you want to recolor, then right-click and choose Format Data Series…
2. Now you should see a dialog box to the right that will let you change the colors of each data series in your chart to any color you want. You can even use specific RGB colors to match any guidelines you need to follow.
Note: For some types of charts you can change the color directly from the right-click.
And there you go! For about 2 minutes of work you’ll have a totally custom chart that makes you look even better than you already do.
Saving Custom Charts as Templates
Of course, once you look so good, you’ll always want to look that good right? So why not save your spiffy new chart template so you can reuse it again later? Check out this previous post for the details on how to do that.