"How To Excel" Mini-Tutorials
by TheExcelAddict.com
"Helping Average Spreadsheet Users Become Local Spreadsheet Experts"

Fonts and Cell Backgrounds In Every Color Of The Rainbow

You've heard me say many times before, "Even after more than ten years using Excel, I am still discovering amazing new tricks." This week I discovered a solution to something that I've wished I could do for a long time but believed that it couldn't be done. I'm sure some of you may have figured this out but not me. Not till this week.

Many times I have wished I had a wider choice of colors for my fonts and cell backgrounds. But for over ten years I believed that I was limited to the 40 colors Excel offered me. A few days ago I discovered that I can use virtually any color I want for my fonts and cell backgrounds. Here's the trick.

  1. From the Tools menu select Options.
  2. Click on the Color tab.
  3. Select a color from the palette that you won't need for the current workbook.
  4. Click the Modify button.
  5. On the Standard tab you have a wider choice of colors, but I want you to click on the Custom tab.
  6. You can click anywhere in the color block to select a color. On the bottom right you'll see the New color and the Current color. Try clicking, holding your mouse button down and dragging around the color block till you find the color you want.
  7. If you want to be very specific as to the color you want, you can type in the RGB (Red, Green, Blue) values. If you don't know what RGB values to use, do a Google search for "RGB color chart" and you'll find lots of color charts to choose from.
  8. Once you have created a new custom color, it will now be available from the Font Color tool, the Fill Color tool and the Borders color, but only in the workbook that was active when you created the color.
  9. To copy colors from one workbook to another, open both workbooks, switch to the one you want to add the new colors to, choose Tools, Options, Color tab, click the 'Copy colors from' dropdown to select the workbook containing the custom colors and click OK.
The important thing to remember here is that when you create a custom color, it applies only to the workbook that was active when you create the color. I have to admit, I have played around with this over the years but I believed that if I created a custom color it would have permanently replaced one of Excel's default colors so I didn't want to do that. Now I know that it only applies to the active workbook, and if I want to change it back I just click the Reset button.

This is definitely a trick that I will be using a lot from now on.

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