"MrExcel Color Add-In"
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As Well As Product Support Information and Purchase Information
"MrExcel Color Add-In"
Thank you for your interest in the MrExcel Color
Add-In for Excel 2007/2010.
Add-In solves two common problems:
Solution #1: If your company made extensive use of the 40 colors in Excel
2003, it is difficult to find those colors in Excel 2007/2010. Yes, 39 of
the 40 colors are in the new 173-color More Colors dialog, but they are
not in a contiguous location and are hard to find.
Solution #2: Back in Excel 2003, it was possible to tear the paint bucket
color dropdown off the Formatting toolbar and to float it anywhere above
your worksheet. Microsoft’s new hatred of floating toolbars makes this
impossible in Excel 2007/2010.
Learn More About The MrExcel Color Add-In for Excel 2007/2010 - Deluxe Version
Requirements: Please Note
that The MrExcel Color Add-In is for use in Excel 2007 and Excel 2010.
|MrExcel Color Add-In for Excel 2007/2010 - Basic
|The $3 Color Add-In is
incredibly simple to use!
After installing the .exe file and opening Excel 2007 or Excel 2010,
you should see this new icon in your Quick Access Toolbar:
icon and a floating Legacy Colors dialog will appear. You can keep
this open while you work in Excel. Note: Ctrl+Shift+C will also
display the dialog.
To change the fill color, select
some cells and click any of the colors. To change the font color or
the line color, select Font or Line from the bottom of the dialog. To
close the dialog, click the red “X” at the top of the dialog.
Advanced Excellers might wish to take advantage of these additional
features in the Deluxe Version:
for Custom Color Pallet: Back in Excel 2003, it was possible to
change the 40 default colors to different color schemes. The Deluxe
Add-In supports these custom pallets.
for 40 Additional Themes: If you like the colors offered in one of
the Excel 2010 themes, you can display those colors in the floating
Controlling which colors are used in Excel 2003: If you save a
workbook as an .XLS workbook and open that workbook in Excel 2003,
only 56 colors can be used. Excel tries to find colors in the Excel
2003 color pallet that are close to the colors in use in your
workbook. This doesn’t always work out so well. If you start using
colors from the Concourse theme, you can use the Deluxe Add-In to
specify those colors as the color pallet to use in Excel 2003.
Accessing the Custom Pallet Stored in the Workbook
Suppose that you've created a custom pallet in Excel
2003 and have saved the workbook that it was created in. That pallet
is still stored in that workbook! You can see it by going to Excel
Options, Save, Colors:
If you utilized a Custom Pallet, it would be
better to have those colors appear in the dialog instead of the
Follow these steps:
- 1. Select the More… button at the bottom of the
2. You will see a slider that
starts out all the way to the left. The leftmost setting is the
Excel 2003 default colors. Click the right end of the slider one
time to move to the second set of colors. Your custom pallet will
appear. Note: if you didn’t customize the pallet in the current
workbook, the second set of colors will appear exactly like the
- You should notice that the title of the dialog
switched from Legacy Colors to Custom Colors. Also, the pallet name
below the slider will say ActiveWB instead of XL2003.
To return to the Excel 2003 default colors, click the left end of
the slider. To hide the slider, click the …Less button.
Using Additional Theme Colors
There are 40 additional pallets available in the dialog
to match the 40 themes that are built-in to Excel 2010. To access
those themes, follow these steps:
- Click the 'More…' button.
- Drag the slider to the right. At each of the 42
steps in the slider, the name of the theme will appear below the
slider and in the title of the dialog.
Contrasting Themes and the Color Add-In
A theme in Excel 2007/2010 is comprised of six accent
colors. Excel VBA offers 201 shades of those six accent colors,
although the dropdown on the Home tab only offers six shades of those
accent colors. The top row of the Theme Colors dropdown offers the six
accent colors. The next 3 rows show lighter shaded. The next 2 rows
show darker shades. To make the colors fit in the Color Add-In, the
top row of 6 accent colors appears as the third column in the Add-In,
as shown here:
To the left are darker shades of those six colors. To the right are
four lighter shades of the six colors. So, the Add-In shows 7 shades
of the colors. While the main six colors are the same, the lighter and
darker shades are more pleasing than the ones offer in the Theme
The 24 shades of grey from the left side of the Theme Colors dropdown
appear along the bottom row of the Color Add-In (as shown below).
The Color AddIn offers only 8 shades of grey instead of 24. This seems
like enough for most people. If you need more shades, go to the
GreyScale theme where you will have 50 shades of grey.
The 10 standard colors along the bottom of the Theme Color dropdown
fill the remaining 6 slots along the right side of the Color Add-In
(as shown below).
My apologies if you need the too-dark-red, ugly-green, aqua, or
insanely-dark-blue colors. Head back to the Theme Colors dropdown to
The main difference between
Theme Colors and the Color Add-In is the behavior when you change to a
new theme. The Theme Colors dropdown might show a tooltip that you are
selecting Accent Color 3, Lighter 40%. When you change to a new theme,
your workbook colors will change to reflect the accent colors in the
new theme. The colors selected in the Color Add-In will not change
when you select a new theme! The advantage is that you can easily
combine colors from 4 themes if you wanted to. If you like the
behavior of the Themes in Excel 2007/2010, you should keep using the
Theme Colors dropdown.
Sending Colors Back to Excel 2003
Excel 2007/2010 allows 16 million colors. Excel 2003
allows 56 colors. If you use Save As to save a file as an old .XLS
file, then Excel must try to fit the colors that you used into the 56
colors that Excel 2003 allows.
This process is less than perfect!
Say that you use 16 colors in Excel 2007. You would think it would be
easy to save those in Excel 2003. But…Excel doesn’t automatically keep
the first 56 colors that you use. They look at the Colors dialog (see
page 2 of this document) and try to make every one of the colors in
use get close to one of those colors in the Color dialog. This rarely
If you’ve been creating colors from the XL2003 pallet, then there is
nothing to worry about. However, if you’ve been using colors from one
of the 40 theme pallets, then you can improve the rollback to Excel
2003 by saving the current theme colors in the Color dialog. Do this
by pressing the “Use THESE in XL 2003” button:
Can I save half of the Equity
Colors and half of the Concourse colors in the Excel 2003
compatibility dialog? A: Not using the Color Add-In. If you want 30
colors from Equity and 26 from Concourse, then save Equity to the
workbook. Then use Excel Options as shown on Page 2 to edit the
I have a custom pallet in
Workbook1. How can I use this custom pallet in Workbook 2? A: This
is possible, but you have to use some care. (1) Open both workbooks.
(2) Switch to the workbook that has the custom pallet. (3) Display
the Color Add-In dialog using Ctrl+Shift+C. (4) Click More…. (5)
Click the right edge of the slider to go to Custom Pallet. (6)
Without closing the dialog, use Ctrl+Tab to switch to the other
workbook. (7) While the other workbook is active, press Use THESE in
Where can I license additional
copies of the software? The Basic Color Add-In costs $3.00 USD
for 1-3 computers and $1 per additional computer. The Deluxe Color
costs $10.99 USD for 1-3 computers and $1.50 per computer
thereafter. Write to Store@MrExcel.com to purchase additional
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