Have you ever been working with text in Excel, and wondered how that text would look in a different colour? Instead of black, maybe it would be better in red, or green, or blue. Did you know that Excel has a built-in command called Cycle Font Color?
I didn't know about Cycle Font Color, until I found it recently.
I'm building an Excel workbook that has macros, and a custom Ribbon tab, with buttons to run those macros.
One of the macros creates a list of 56 colours, so I looked for a built-in Excel command that has a colourful image.
Find a Button Image
There are tools and galleries that help you look for button images. For example, download and install this icons gallery from Microsoft:
After installing the gallery, open Excel and click the Developer tab. A new group appears at the right end of the tab, with 9 galleries.
Point to any icon, to see its name. You can use that name when setting up your custom Ribbon tab.
Built-in Button Image List
Instead of using one of the icons gallery add-ins, I used Excel's build-in button image list.
- Right-click a blank spot on the Excel Ribbon, and click Customize the Ribbon
- In the list of commands, point to any command, to see its information
- The image name is at the end, in brackets.
Not in the Ribbon
In the Customize the Ribbon window, the default list is Popular Commands.
To find something a bit different, I chose the list of "Commands Not in the Ribbon".
After scrolling down a bit, I spotted the type of colourful image that I wanted – Cycle Font Colors.
I jotted down its image name – FontColorCycle – to use in my custom Ribbon tab.
What Does It Do?
I didn't know what that command does, so I wanted to try it. The Cycle Font Colors command isn't on the Excel Ribbon, but you can add it to your Quick Access Toolbar, or to your Ribbon.
So, I made a new group on the Home tab, and added the command, to see what it does.
Test the Button
Each time you click on the Cycle Font Color button, it adds 1 to the Color Index number for the font colour in the active cell.
The count starts at the current Index number, and goes up to 56. Then, it starts at 1 again.
In the screen shot below, the text started as Black (color index 1). The first click changed the color index number to 2 (White), and the next click changed the font to Red.
To see the colours a little better, you could use the Wingdings font, with a lower case "n".
It's entertaining to use the Cycle Font Color button, but I can't think of any real-life uses for it. Can you think of anything?
Maybe Cycle Font Color was helpful in the old days, when we had to find our way into Tools | Options | Color, to adjust the settings. Clicking a button would be a lot quicker than that!
Excel Color Trivia
Also, did you know that Excel recognizes the first 8 colours by name too?
You can use those names in custom number formatting, to change the font colour based on conditions.
In this screen shot, the numbers >=50 are red, and anything less than 50 is green.
More Colour Info
For more colour resources, go to my Colours blog post from earlier this year.
You'll find a links to John Marshall's Color Lists Workbook, Jon Peltier's article on Excel colors, chart colour macros, and other colour references.