Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Applying colors and patterns
Follow these guidelines when using the Fill tab:
The Background Color area controls the background of selected cells. When
you choose a color and do not select any pattern, Excel applies a solid colored
To return the background color to its default state, click No Color.
If you pick a background color and then select a pattern style, the pattern is overlaid
on the solid background. For example, if you select red from the Background Color
area and then click one of the dot patterns, the result is a cell that has a red
background and black dots.
The Pattern Color options control the color of the pattern, not the cell. For example,
if you leave Background Color set to No Color and select a red for Pattern Color and
any dot pattern for Pattern Style, the cell is displayed with a white background with
When selecting colors for cell backgrounds, select one on which you can easily read any
text or numbers in the cell. For example, yellow is the most visible background color
you can choose to complement black text, which is why you see this combination on
road signs. A dark blue background with black text—that’s not so good.
The More Colors button on the Fill tab displays the Colors dialog box shown in Figure
9-57, where you can select colors that are not otherwise represented on the color palettes.
The Standard tab in the Colors dialog box displays a stylized color wheel using the current
theme colors, most of which are already available on the palettes. The Custom tab shown
in Figure 9-57 lets you pinpoint colors, use specific color values, and switch between the
default RGB (red, green, blue) color model or HSL, a color model defined by hue,
saturation, and luminosity values instead of RGB color values.
The Fill Effects button on the Fill tab in the Format Cells dialog box opens up another world
of possibility, offering gradient ills you can apply to cells. Clicking this button displays the
Fill Effects dialog box shown in Figure 9-58. You can select different colors and shading
styles, but this version of the Fill Effects dialog box offers only two-color effects. The One
Color and Preset options are not available. Note that Fill Effects gradient ills are static,
unlike data bars, which are conditional gradient ills that respond to cell values and interact
with adjacent cells by applying proportional amounts of ill to each cell.