How to Change Theme Colors in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing theme colors in Excel is a great way to personalize your spreadsheet and make it visually appealing. By following a few simple steps, you can alter the color scheme to better suit your needs or preferences. This process involves selecting a different theme, customizing the colors, and applying these changes to your workbook.

How to Change Theme Colors in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk you through a detailed, step-by-step guide on how to change theme colors in Excel. By the end of these steps, you’ll have a workbook that reflects your unique style and preferences.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

First, start by opening the Excel workbook where you want to change the theme colors.

It’s essential to have the workbook open because you’ll be making changes specific to that file. Make sure your workbook is saved to avoid losing any data.

Step 2: Navigate to the ‘Page Layout’ Tab

Next, click on the ‘Page Layout’ tab located at the top of the Excel window.

The ‘Page Layout’ tab has various options that control the appearance of your workbook, including themes and colors.

Step 3: Click on the ‘Colors’ Dropdown

Under the ‘Page Layout’ tab, find and click on the ‘Colors’ dropdown menu.

This menu provides a list of predefined color schemes you can apply to your workbook. These are the default theme colors available in Excel.

Step 4: Choose a Predefined Theme or Customize

From the ‘Colors’ dropdown, you can either select a predefined theme or choose ‘Customize Colors’.

Selecting a predefined theme will instantly change the color scheme of your workbook. If you prefer more control, choose ‘Customize Colors’ to create your own.

Step 5: Save Your Custom Colors

If you chose ‘Customize Colors’, a dialog box will appear where you can customize each color element. After making your selections, save your new theme.

Customizing colors allows you to match your workbook’s colors to your brand, project, or personal preference. Once saved, these colors can be reused in other Excel workbooks.

After completing these steps, your Excel workbook will reflect the new color theme you selected or customized. This updated look can make your data more engaging and easier to read.

Tips for Changing Theme Colors in Excel

  • Always preview your changes to see how the new colors affect the readability of your data.
  • Save custom themes for future use, especially if you frequently work on similar projects.
  • Experiment with different color combinations to find the most visually appealing setup.
  • Use contrasting colors to make important data stand out more effectively.
  • Adjust font and cell styles to complement your new theme colors for a cohesive look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I revert back to the original theme colors after making changes?

Yes, you can revert to the original theme or any other predefined theme by selecting it from the ‘Colors’ dropdown.

Will changing theme colors affect all sheets in my workbook?

Yes, theme color changes will apply to all sheets within the workbook you are working on.

Can I share my custom theme colors with others?

You can share your custom themes by saving them and then sharing the Excel file or theme file with others.

Are there any limitations to customizing theme colors?

The primary limitation is that custom themes must be saved within the workbook. They are not universally applied across all Excel files unless you save and import the theme into other workbooks.

Do theme colors affect charts and graphs?

Yes, changing the theme colors will also update the colors used in charts and graphs within your workbook.


  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Page Layout’ tab.
  3. Click on the ‘Colors’ dropdown.
  4. Choose a predefined theme or customize.
  5. Save your custom colors.


Changing theme colors in Excel is a straightforward way to add a personal touch to your spreadsheets. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can quickly and easily modify your workbook’s appearance. Whether you opt for a predefined theme or create a custom palette, the process is simple and effective.

Remember, the visual aspect of your data presentation can significantly impact how your information is received. So, don’t hesitate to experiment with different color schemes until you find one that feels right. If you’re working on multiple projects, consider saving your custom themes for consistency across your work.

For further reading, you might want to explore more advanced formatting techniques in Excel, or look into how themes can be used in other Microsoft Office applications. Happy customizing!

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