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How to separate colors for positive and negative bars in column/bar chart?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2014-11-05

In Excel, when we create a chart with both positive numbers and negative numbers, all the series data bars are the same color by default. To make the chart more clear and professional, sometimes, we want to separate different colors for positive and negative bars in the chart. In this tutorial, I will introduce you an easy way for giving different colors to the positive and negative bars in column or bar chart.

Separate colors for positive and negative bar in column / bar chart

arrow blue right bubble Separate colors for positive and negative bar in column / bar chart

In fact, there is an option called Invert if Negative feature which can help us to give a different color for the negative bar in Excel, please do as follows:

1. Right click the data series bar, and choose Format Data Series from the context menu, see screenshot:


2. Then in the Format Data Series dialog box, click Fill in the left pane, and check Invert if negative option, see screenshot:


3. Then you need to fill color for the data series, please check Solid fill option in the right section, and choose the colors for your positive and negative data bar as you like under the Fill Color section, see screenshot:


4. After choosing the colors, click Close button to exit the dialog, and now, you can see the positive and negative data bars have been filled with different colors separately in your chart.



1. If you have Excel 2013, choose the Format Data Series from the right click menu to open the Format Data Series pane, and then click Fill & Line icon, and check Invert if negative option, then check Solid fill and specify the colors for the positive and negative data bar as you want beside Color section.


2. This method also can be applied to the bar chart.

Related articles:

How to insert a chart with data non-contiguous each other?

How to add total labels to stacked column chart in Excel?

How to create Gantt chart in Excel?

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Comments (2)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
When doing this, excel 2013 does not, yet again save the settings - upon opening the sheet again, the bars change colour (one becomes white/empty). Doe anyone know how to solve this in excel 2013?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have the same problem. Did you get solution for this?
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