Legends in a chart is a very useful feature that helps readers or viewers to understand the chart or graph clearly. By default, Excel adds legends in every chart when you create them. Usually, they are located at the bottom of the chart. But there are options for us to change legend positions, change bar or column colors which in turn change legend colors, or even totally remove them from the chart if necessary. In this tutorial, we will focus on how to change legend colors in Excel charts.
Download Practice Workbook
You can download the workbook with the dataset and all the charts used for the demonstration from the link below. Download and try yourself while you go through the steps in the tutorial.
4 Easy Ways to Change Legend Colors in Excel
There are a total of four methods you can follow to change legend colors in an Excel chart. The main idea is to change the type of line or area representing chart data, which will change legend colors in Excel charts. With this in mind, we have divided each method into its sub-section. You can follow along to see every method or find the one you need from the table above.
For the demonstration, we are using the following dataset to plot a column chart first.
To plot the graph select the whole dataset (the range B4:E10) and go to the Insert tab. Then select the Insert Column Chart icon from the Charts group.
After that, we are selecting the Clustered Column option to create the column chart for the demonstration.
As a result, we will have the chart at our disposal.
By default, we can see there are three legend colors- blue, orange, and grey. Follow along to see how we can change these colors.
1. Using Context Menu
We can simply change the column colors by right-clicking over the column areas and changing the fill color. This way we can change the legend colors at the bottom of the Excel chart too along with the column color of course. Follow these steps for a more detailed guide.
- First of all, right-click on the column that is represented by the legend you are trying to change the color. As a result, the context menu will open up.
- Now select the Fill option from the menu appearing on top of the context menu as shown in the figure below.
- Next, from the drop-down, select the color you prefer for your legend. We are selecting green for the demonstration.
After selecting the color here, you will see your column’s colors, as well as the legend colors, in your Excel chart have changed to green or any other color you have selected.
2. Use of Fill Command
You can find the same Fill command from the Home tab of your Excel ribbon too. You can thus change the column colors and legend colors in the Excel chart. Follow these steps for a more detailed guide.
- First of all, select a column by just left-clicking once on it.
- Then go to the Home tab on your ribbon and click on the Fill Color drop-down icon in the Font group.
- After that, select the color you want from the drop-down menu. We are selecting light blue this time.
Once you have selected the color, your column color will automatically change. And so will the legend color.
Thus you can change legend colors in Excel.
3. Applying Format Data Series Command
There are other options in the context menu that was mentioned in the first method which can help change column colors in this chart. You can change legend colors in Excel charts with the help of this command too. Follow these steps for a detailed demonstration.
- First of all, right-click on the column you want to change the color of.
- But this time select the Format Data Series command from the context menu.
- As a result, the Format Data Series window will open up on the right side of the Excel interface. Now go to the Fill & Line tab in it.
- Then under the Fill section, select Solid line.
- Next, select the color you want your column and legend color to change to. We are using red for the demonstration.
Once you have completed all of the steps, you will find that the column color and the legend of the column you selected on the first step has automatically changed.
You can change legend colors in Excel charts this way too.
4. Using Shape Fill from Format Tab
While you select the chart or any element of the chart, you may notice new tabs appearing on the ribbon named Chart Design and Format. From the Format tab, you can change a specific graph’s color too. Which will in turn change the legend color also. Follow these steps to see how you can change legend colors in Excel using the Shape Fill feature from the Format tab.
- First, select a column from the chart.
- At this instant, you will notice Chart Design and Format tabs appearing on the ribbon at the end of the already existing tabs. Now go to the Format tab.
- Then click on the Shape Fill option from the Shape Styles group.
- As a result, a drop-down list of colors will appear. Now select the color you prefer (We are selecting purple for the demonstration).
Hence, the column color and legend color of the one indicating the column will change.
This is another way you can change legend colors in Excel charts.
These were all the methods we can use to change graphs’ colors and legend colors in Excel. Hopefully, you can change legend colors with ease now. I hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.
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