Color Palette Conversion Tool.xlsm (107.4 KB)
Note: Enable macros when opening.
See this blog post for further explanation and user comments –
Help & Instructions
Click the help button in the file to see onscreen instructions (macros must be enabled).
Help Page – online version
The Color Palette Conversion tool automates the process of updating the previous version 56-color palette in Excel 2007 (and Excel 2010) workbooks. Excel 2007 files actually contain two color palettes. The one you work with is the new theme based color palette. The 56-color palette from previous versions is also stored in you workbook, and can be modified. When a workbook created in 2007 is opened in a previous version, Excel automatically converts the new theme colors to similar colors in the default 56-color palette of previous versions. This can really change the look of your spreadsheet design and cause problems for users on older versions of Excel. The conversion process is explained in more detail below.
This tool will allow you to quickly update your previous version color palette. With the click of a few buttons you will be able to retrieve all the colors you've used in your workbook and then apply them to the previous version palette, replacing the default colors of the previous versions with new colors from your theme.
- Retrieve all colors used in your workbook.
- Easily create a custom previous version color palette with colors used in your workbook and/or colors from your theme palette.
- Update the previous version color palette in one or multiple workbooks.
- Restore palettes to default settings if needed.
- Retrieve colors currently stored in previous version palette from any workbook.
The Color Palette Conversion tool will ensure that your beautifully designed workbooks will be viewed the same way by all users of Excel. This is crucial if you are:
- Sending workbooks to customers or colleagues and referencing colors.
- Designing a workbook where presentation is critical.
- Creating a workbook for public use.
- Sick of wasting time manually adjusting the previous version palette.
Color Palettes Explained
Excel 2007 and later versions use a theme based color palette which includes 10 themes colors with 6 shades/tints for each, and 10 standard colors.
Excel 2003 and older versions use a 56 color palette.
When a workbook created in Excel 2007 or later is opened in a previous version of Excel, the new colors are converted to their closest match on the 56-color palette.
Some of the conversions are close, but can still make your workbook look like the following.
And here's that same file opened in a previous version of Excel after using the Color Palette Conversion Tool.
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