How to change the default colors that Excel uses for chart series

Every workbook uses a palette of 56 colors, but you can change palette for the current workbook or even change the default colors for new workbooks.

To change colors of the current workbook, select Tools -> Options... to open the Options dialog box, choose the Color tab:

Color in Excel 2003

This dialog box shows the colors used for chart fills and chart lines. To change a color, select it and click the Modify... button. The changes you make will affect all existing charts in the workbook and will also be used for future charts you create in that workbook.

If you would like to make these color changes apply to all new workbooks that you create, you need to create a default workbook template.

    1.    Start with a new workbook.

    2.    Select Tools -> Options... to open the Options dialog box.

    3.    In the Options dialog box, on the Color tab, make the color changes and then click OK.

    4.    Choose File -> Save As... to display the Save As dialog box.

    5.    In the Save as dialog box:

  • In the Save as type list, select Template
  • Choose the XlStart folder as the location
  • Use book.xlt as the filename.

The location of the XLStart folder may vary, but it is usually located here:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\XLStart

    6.    Click Save.

After performing these steps, you can create a new workbook, based on this template, by clicking the New button on the Standard toolbar. The new workbook will be based on your book.xlt template file-and it will have the modified color palette.

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