How to Make Bars Different Colors in an Excel Chart

By Filonia LeChat

Show data's differences with colored Excel charts.
i Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Microsoft Excel is often a time-saver when you want to create visuals to demonstrate numerical data, and Excel’s chart-creation function takes columns or rows of numbers and transforms them into bar charts in a couple of clicks. Although the default settings -- usually blue and red for the first two colors in each chart -- are meant to save you set-up time, you’re able to customize the colors to your own documentation requirements. Design a rainbow chart with a bar in every color or make charts that alternate to show a pattern between two things.

Step 1

Start Microsoft Excel, and open the spreadsheet with the bar colors that you would like to change.

Step 2

Right-click on one of the bars to change its color.

Step 3

Click the "paint bucket" icon in the small pop-up window that appears when you right-click.

Step 4

Click a small, solid-colored square from the fill rainbow grid, and the bar color changes.

Step 5

Right-click another bar and repeat the process to change that bar’s color.