How to Change the Tab Color in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the color of tabs in Excel is a simple but effective way to organize your worksheets. By altering the tab colors, you can quickly identify and navigate through different sections of your workbook. This can be particularly useful when dealing with large datasets or multiple sheets. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to change the tab color in Excel.

Changing the Tab Color in Excel

Let’s dive into the steps on how to change the tab color in Excel. By following these steps, you’ll be able to customize your tabs and make your workbook more visually appealing and easier to manage.

Step 1: Select the Tab

Start by clicking on the tab you want to change.

When you select a tab, it becomes the active tab, indicating that any changes you make will apply to that specific tab.

Step 2: Right-Click the Tab

Right-click on the selected tab to open a context menu.

A context menu will appear with several options, one of which is dedicated to tab color customization.

Step 3: Choose ‘Tab Color’

In the context menu, locate and click on ‘Tab Color.’

This option will open a color palette, offering you a variety of colors to choose from.

Step 4: Pick a Color

From the color palette, click on the color you want to apply to the tab.

Once you pick a color, the tab will instantly change to the selected color, making it stand out from the other tabs.

Step 5: Confirm the Change

Click anywhere outside the color palette to close it and confirm your selection.

After confirming, your tab will stay colored, helping you easily identify it in your workbook.

Once you’ve completed these steps, your selected tab will display the new color. This visual change helps in the quick identification of specific tabs, especially useful in workbooks with multiple sheets.

Tips for Changing the Tab Color in Excel

  • Use Different Colors: Apply different colors to different categories of tabs to easily distinguish between them.
  • Consistent Color Scheme: Use a consistent color scheme to maintain a professional look.
  • Utilize Bright Colors: Bright colors can make important tabs more noticeable.
  • Avoid Overuse: Don’t overdo it; too many colors can make the workbook look cluttered.
  • Color-Code by Priority: Use colors to indicate the priority of tasks within the workbook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the tab color for multiple tabs at once?

No, you have to change the color for each tab individually.

Will the tab color change affect the data in my worksheet?

No, changing the tab color will not affect the data or formulas in any way.

Can I use custom colors for my tabs?

Excel provides a standard color palette, but you can access more colors if needed.

How do I revert a tab color back to its default color?

Right-click the tab, select ‘Tab Color’, and choose ‘No Color’.

Is there a shortcut to change tab colors?

No, you must use the right-click context menu to change tab colors.


  1. Select the tab.
  2. Right-click the tab.
  3. Choose ‘Tab Color’.
  4. Pick a color.
  5. Confirm the change.


Changing the tab color in Excel is a minor tweak that can have a major impact on your productivity and organization. By following the simple steps outlined above, you can customize your workbook to make navigation easier and more intuitive. Whether you’re managing a small project or a massive dataset, using tab colors can be a game-changer.

Feel free to experiment with different colors and find a system that works best for you. If you’re looking to dive deeper, many Excel tutorials and resources are available online to enhance your skills further. Now that you know how to change the tab color in Excel, why not put this new skill to use and start organizing your workbooks today?

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