How to customize color palettes in Microsoft 365 Office apps – TechRepublic

How to customize color palettes in Microsoft 365 Office apps – TechRepublic

How to customize color palettes in Microsoft 365 Office apps – TechRepublic 0 0 Alan Dickson

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How to customize color palettes in Microsoft 365 Office apps
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Microsoft 365 Office apps base color options on the applied theme, but you can change the theme or add custom colors to color palettes.
If you use the color palette in any of the Microsoft 365 Office apps, you know that the feature offers a lot of choices. Sometimes, however, the color you need isn’t readily available, and you jump through a few hoops to find and apply it. Doing this often quickly becomes annoying. Fortunately, you don’t have to work that hard.
SEE: Google Workspace vs. Microsoft 365: A side-by-side analysis w/checklist (TechRepublic Premium)
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to update palette colors using themes. I’ll also show you how to replace individual palette colors with colors you use the most.
I’m using Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64-bit system. The web apps will display theme colors in an existing document, but you can’t apply them. Although I’ll be working in Microsoft Word, you can do the same in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Whether you realize it or not, you’re using a theme. By default, Office apps all use the Office theme, which you can see in Figure A. You can change the theme colors but not the standard colors.
Figure A
By changing the theme, you can change the options in all the color palettes as follows:
Figure B
Figure C
This change works only in the current document. If you want to change the palette in future documents, create a template with the colors you want and use it. You can also update Normal.dotm.
To change the color theme in PowerPoint, click the Design tab. In the Variants group, click the gallery’s More button to choose another color theme. In Excel, click the Page Layout tab and choose Colors in the Themes group.
You might be wondering about the Themes dropdown to the far left. Those themes include fonts, not only colors. Choosing one will update the palette colors but will also change fonts. You have several full-bodied themes if you want to go that route.
Now let’s suppose that no theme works for you. You can create a custom theme. To learn how, read How to create and use the same Office themes across files in Microsoft 365.
It’s possible to find a color theme that you like even though it lacks one or two colors you need. When this happens, you can customize the theme a bit by replacing colors. To illustrate, let’s change one of the Office theme colors, dark orange, as follows:
Figure D
The new color will appear in all color palettes in the current document as a theme color. Replacing a color in the palette is easy, but what happens if you can’t find the right color in the More Colors options?
If replacing a palette color or two doesn’t work, you still have an option: Set a custom color using RGB settings. RGB is a reference to red, green and blue. By mixing these three primary colors, you can replicate almost any color that the human eye perceives. Fortunately, it’s not hard to find the RGB values for a specific color.
To find RGB values, do the following:
Figure E
Once you have the appropriate RGB values, you can add it to the color palettes as follows:
Figure F
As you can see in Figure F, the bright violet is now available in the color palette, replacing the row of orange. Remember, you can make the same changes in both Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint.
Be your company’s Microsoft insider by reading these Windows and Office tips, tricks, and cheat sheets.
How to customize color palettes in Microsoft 365 Office apps
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