How to Change Default Colors in Excel
Submitted by Techwalla Contributor
In The Beginning
The default color for fonts in an Excel spreadsheet is black while the default background color is white. However, there are many colors to select from and the user can also modify the appearance of these colors. There are several methods one can use to change the default colors in an Excel worksheet.
The Main Steps
Change the font color. Click on one cell to select it or click on the first cell in a group and drag the mouse to highlight all the cells. You can also click on the gray box at the top left corner of the worksheet to select all the cells on the page.
Click on the "Font Color" button on the tool bar. Click to select one of the standard colors displayed on the palette. The font color button has an "A" on it, with a bar of the current font color underneath the A.
Change the background color of a cell. Highlight the cell or cells you would like to adjust and then click on the arrow on the right side of the "Fill Color" button on the toolbar. Click on a color to apply it to the cell.
Change the color in a chart. Open the chart you want to format and double-click on the element you want to change. You can change the color of the background, labels and font of the chart.
Open the workbook containing the color palette you want to change. You can also make the changes for a new workbook.
Open the "Options" dialog box. Select "Tools" from the tool bar and click on "Options." This dialog box contains various selections that you can use to change the default attributes of a workbook.
Click on the "Color" tab. Select the color you want to change and click on "Modify." A "Colors" pop up box should appear.
Replace the current color. To switch the color you have selected with another, select a different color from the standard tab of the colors dialog box.
Customize a color. Click on the "Customize" tab of the "Colors" box to adjust the intensity of the color you have selected.


  • If you copy data from one Excel workbook to another, the cells from the old workbook will assume the default colors of the new workbook. To retain custom colors, copy the color palette of the old workbook to the new one or adjust the color palette of the new one to fit.
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