Changing the color of a single series inside of a chart or graph in Microsoft Excel is something that most people working with charts and data for presentations need to do at one point or another. Luckily it’s very simple once you know how. The problem starts because common sense would lead us to believe that the first place we should check would be in the Chart Settings area, and that’s a mess of settings that are very tedious to play around with. But, there is a much easier way!
Step 1 – Pick a Chart to Change
You’ve probably already completed this step, but the first thing that you need to do is open your Microsoft Excel file and figure out which chart or graph you would like to change. In our example we are just using our Trade Show Checklist. This same technique works in all charts and graphs as far as I can tell. Line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, stacked charts, area charts, etc.. It should also work with any version of MS Excel that you are using, but please let me know in the comments below if you have an older version that it doesn’t work with. I’ve tested this on Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel 2013 and the version included with Microsoft Office 365 (Including the online version). Enough with the technicalities, lets move on to the reason why you came and learn how to change the color of a series in Excel.
Step 2 – Single Click Anywhere in the Chart Area
Click anywhere in chart area to select the entire chart object. You will notice that all sections of the Excel chart are now highlighted.
Step 3 – Single Click on the Series you would like to Change
Click on the exact series of the chart that you would like to change the color of. Once you click on it, you will notice that now just that section of the graph is highlighted.
Step 4 – Select the New Color of Fill
Simply go up to the menu bar and click the Fill Bucket and select whichever color you would like to change the chart to. See, I told you it was simple! That’s all it takes to change the color of a series in a chart in Excel. Repeat on all series you would like to change. If you are trying to make your charts look good and need some ideas in terms of colors, check out Kuler a great tool from Adobe to find color schemes – https://kuler.adobe.com/explore/
You’ll notice that the color in the legend also updates automatically.
Well there you have it. I hope that helps you change the color of a series in Excel. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below.