On the Design tab of the Chart Tools menu of the ribbon, you’ll find controls for chart colors and chart styles. Once you’ve selected a chart type, you can use these tools to apply colors and styles. Similar to chart layouts, these controls let you quickly adjust a chart to follow a certain look or theme. The Change Color menu let’s you quickly experiment with multi-color schemes as well as monochromatic schemes.  Note that the colors you see in this menu are tied to the current theme and color selection found on the Page Layout tab of the ribbon. If you change a setting there, it will affect the options you see back in the Design tab.  If I undo that change, you’ll see the Design tab options revert to the original colors. You’ll also find chart styles and colors on the Chart Styles icon when you select a chart. Generally, this will be the easiest place to explore styles and colors, since this icon appears whenever you select the chart, whether the ribbon is displayed or not. Chart styles have generic names like Style 1, Style 2, Style 3, and so on.  Initially, your chart will be using Style 1. If you apply a different style, you manually reset back to Style 1 at any time. However, element visibility is not controlled by styles. For example, if I apply a style to this chart that includes data labels, then revert to style 1, the data labels remain, and need to be hidden manually. These menus allow you to make many changes to a chart quickly, but keep in mind that you are always free to select chart elements and make changes manually. You can always use the Reset to match style command will revert these kind of changes.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.