how to change color gradients in a bar chart



Despite a lot of Google searching, I could NOT figure out how to
change the colors of the gradient in a bar chart in Excel 2007. So
once I finally figured it out on my own I figured I'd post it here in
case anyone else was in similar straits.

THE PROBLEM: You want to choose your own colors for a gradient in a
bar chart, but no matter how you futz with the settings, that pesky
default blue won't go away!

THE ISSUE: Excel's default gradient has not one color setting but
THREE "stops" set to varying shades of blue -- so if you want to
change the color you need to deal with all three stops!

THE SOLUTION: In the 'Format Data Series' dialog box under Fill,
select 'Gradient fill'. Then under 'Gradient stops':

- Select 'Stop 1' from the drop-down list, set 'Stop position' to 0%,
change 'Color' to white, and set 'Transparency' to 100%. (Note that
this makes the changes IMMEDIATELY; there's no OK or Apply button to

- Now select Select 'Stop 2' from the drop-down list, set 'Stop
position' to 100%, change 'Color' to your favorite color, and set
'Transparency' to 0%.

If there are any other 'Stops' listed, select them and hit 'Remove'.

And all else fails, go to the 'Preset colors' drop-down box, select
the green one (left column, third one done on my machine), and tweak
the settings below; should be self-evident at that point.

(Note to Microsoft: In your next version of Excel, show each Stop and
its settings separately in the main dialog box, so it's obvious what
needs to change. Forcing users to dig into an obscure drop-down menu
setting ('Stop 3", etc.) they haven't encountered before to make what
was a relatively easy change in the previous version of Excel is not


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