How to Change Theme Colors in Excel: Enhancing Presentation and Customization

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Microsoft Excel, a versatile spreadsheet software, is not just a tool for data analysis; it’s also a platform for creating visually appealing and professional-looking documents. One of the key elements that contribute to the aesthetic appeal of an Excel workbook is the choice of theme colors.

Themes in Excel provide a cohesive and consistent color palette throughout the workbook, enhancing its overall visual impact. In this guide, we will explore the significance of themes in Excel and delve into various methods for changing theme colors.

The Importance of Themes in Excel:

Themes play a crucial role in shaping the visual identity of your Excel workbooks. A theme is a set of unified design elements, including fonts, colors, and effects, that can be applied to an entire workbook.

By using themes, you can create a professional and polished appearance for your spreadsheets. Different themes convey different moods and styles, allowing you to tailor your workbook’s aesthetics to match its purpose or your personal preferences.

How Different Themes Make Excel Presentable:

  1. Consistency and Professionalism:

    Themes ensure consistency by applying a unified set of colors and fonts throughout the workbook.

This consistency not only makes the workbook visually appealing but also enhances its professional look. When presenting data or reports to clients or colleagues, a well-designed and consistent theme can leave a lasting impression.

  1. Ease of Customization:

    Excel offers a variety of built-in themes, making it easy to customize the appearance of your workbook.

Whether you prefer a modern and sleek look or a classic and formal style, themes provide a quick and efficient way to transform the visual aspects of your data.

  1. Accessibility:

    Themes also contribute to the accessibility of your workbook. Choosing contrasting colors for data points and background ensures that your charts and tables are easily readable, even for individuals with visual impairments.

Excel themes adhere to accessibility standards, promoting inclusivity in data presentation.

Methods of Changing Theme Colors in Excel:

  1. Using Built-In Themes:

    Excel comes with a range of built-in themes that you can apply with just a few clicks.

To change the theme, go to the “Page Layout” tab, click on the “Themes” dropdown, and select the desired theme. This instantly updates the entire workbook with the chosen color scheme.

  1. Customizing Theme Colors:

    If none of the built-in themes suit your preferences, you can customize theme colors.

In the “Page Layout” tab, click on “Colors” within the “Themes” group, and choose “Customize Colors.” Here, you can modify individual elements like text, background, and accents, allowing for a personalized touch while maintaining the overall theme.

  1. Creating a New Theme:

    For a truly unique look, consider creating your own custom theme. In the “Design” tab, click on “Colors” and choose “Create New Theme Colors.”

This opens a dialog box where you can specify colors for various theme elements. Once saved, your custom theme becomes available for future use, ensuring consistency across multiple workbooks.

  1. Applying Themes to Specific Elements:

    Excel also allows you to apply themes selectively.

For instance, you can change the color scheme for a specific chart or table without affecting the entire workbook. Select the element, go to the “Format” tab, and choose the desired theme from the “Shape Fill” or “Font Color” options.


In conclusion, changing theme colors in Excel is a powerful way to enhance the visual appeal of your workbooks. The application of themes ensures a cohesive and professional appearance, making your data more accessible and engaging.

Whether you opt for built-in themes, customize existing ones, or create your own, Excel provides a range of options to suit your preferences and needs. By exploring these methods, you can elevate your Excel experience and present your data in a way that is not only informative but also visually striking.

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