Changing Color for Negative Data Series within Charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Learn how to change the default white color for negative values within charts in PowerPoint 2013.
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8
In PowerPoint charts, when you choose to
invert the fill for any negative option
in a series of a chart, you end up seeing those negative series in the default white color. This is not a great option if
your slide background is white or if you want negative series to show in red. In this tutorial, let us explore how to get over this
PowerPoint 2013 using a workaround.
Follow these steps to change the color of any negative data series in your PowerPoint 2013 charts:
- Open your presentation and select the chart that has
negative values with inverted fills, as
shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Chart with negative Data Series
- Select the Data Series by clicking once on any of the columns, or within the
chart elements drop-down list. Right-click to
bring up the contextual menu as shown in Figure 2. Within this contextual menu, select the Format Data
Series option (refer to Figure 2) again. If you do not get the Format Data Series option in
the contextual menu, you may have right-clicked on another chart element -- make sure you then deselect anything in the chart, and then
right-click on any series (for example, a single column within a column chart).
Figure 2: Format Data Series option
- This will bring up the Format Data Series
Task Pane as shown in Figure 3. Within this Task Pane, make sure that Fill & Line button is selected (highlighted in
red within Figure 3). Make sure that the Invert if negative check-box is
selected, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 3. Next, select the Pattern
fill radio button, as shown highlighted in green within Figure 3.
Figure 3: Pattern fill radio button selected within the Format Data Series Task Pane
- As soon as you select the Pattern fill radio button, several patterns show up within the Format Data
Series Task Pane as shown in Figure 4. You'll also find two color drop-down boxes under the pattern swatches
as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4. As you can see, the Foreground
color matches the fill color for the negative columns, and the Background color matches with the fill for the
Figure 4: Pattern fill
- Now, let's make some changes. Within the Pattern section, chose the 5% Pattern (the top-left, first pattern) --
and then chose a solid color from the Background color drop-down, as you can see in Figure 5. Red was
chosen since that color seems to go well with the negative concept.
Figure 5: Red color selected as the Background color
- Figure 6 shows how the chart looks now -- as you can see, the colors of the columns are actually reversed from
what we wanted! So we need to remedy that next.
Figure 6: Different column colors
- Summon the Format Data Series Task Pane again. Within the Fill & Line button, chose the
Solid fill radio button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7.
Figure 7: Solid fill radio button selected
- Setting the fills back to Solid fill sets the colors in the chart series to the right values as shown in Figure 8.
Note that the chart has no longer has any pattern fill applied, and has distinctly different colors for positive and negative columns.
As you can see from Figure 8, our sample chart has only one Data Series -- but there's no reason why you cannot use the
same steps for any other series if your chart has multiple series.
Figure 8: Chart with changed colors
- Save your presentation.
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