How to Change the Colors of the Dots on Excel

By Jason Artman

You can use Microsoft Excel to create a scatter plot, line graph or other chart that helps you visualize and interpret the information in a spreadsheet. When you use Excel to create a chart for printing or to insert in a PowerPoint presentation, you may find that the default color Excel chooses for the dots does not produce enough contrast to make the chart readable from a distance. Excel offers customization options by letting you select from several different visual styles when creating a chart. You can also define your own visual style to increase the customization options available.

Applying a Visual Style

Step 1

Launch Excel and open the spreadsheet containing a chart with colors that you want to change. If you have not generated the chart yet, highlight the columns containing the data that you want the chart to contain, select the "Insert" tab at the top of the window and click the type of chart that you want to create in the "Charts" area of the menu bar.

Step 2

Click the chart. You should now see a new tab with the label "Chart Tools" at the top of the window. Click the "Chart Tools" tab, then click the "Design" tab below.

Step 3

Click the down-facing arrow in the lower-right corner of the "Chart Styles" section of the menu bar. When you hover the mouse over the correct button Excel displays a pop-up window with the word "More." When you click the button Excel displays a pull-down menu with approximately 48 different visual styles to select from.

Step 4

Click the desired visual style to change the color of the dots, lines or bars in the graph.

Changing Colors Manually

Step 1

Launch Excel and open a spreadsheet containing a chart. Click the chart to make the "Chart Tools" tab appear at the top of the window.

Step 2

Click the "Chart Tools" tab, then click the "Format" tab below.

Step 3

Click one of the dots in the chart. Excel places selection markers around all of the dots.

Step 4

Click "Format Selection" in the "Current Selection" section of the menu bar. A new window titled "Format Data Series" appears.

Step 5

Click "Marker Fill" on the left side of the window.

Step 6

Click a radio button under "Market Fill" to indicate how Excel should color the dots on the chart. You can use solid colors, gradients or select an image file to use as a texture. You can also select "Vary colors by point" to use a different color for each dot.

Step 7

Fill in the options below to select the color, gradient or image that you want to use to color the dots in the graph. For example, if you selected "Solid Fill" in step six, click the "Color" button and choose the desired color. Then drag the "Transparency" slider to blend the dots with the graph's background color.

Step 8

Click the "Close" button to return to the main Excel window.