How to Use the Excel VBA Color Index? (Easy Ways)

August 4, 2023 3.4K views

Are you looking to unlock the full potential of Excel Color Index in VBA? Like changing cell colors on a worksheet, the VBA ColorIndex Property proves invaluable for setting fill colors, border colors, and font colors. However, many struggle to grasp its usage and benefits. In this article, we present a straightforward guide, unraveling the secrets of Excel Color Index in VBA and equipping you with the skills to leverage its power effectively. Let's embark on this colorful journey together!

Part 1: What is the VBA Color Index in Excel?

In this section, we will explore the fundamental concept of the VBA Color Index in Excel. Understanding the VBA Color Index is crucial for anyone working with VBA programming in Excel.

The VBA Color Index in Excel is a property that allows you to control the colors of cells, fonts, borders, shapes, and other elements using predefined index numbers. Excel has 56 color index values, each representing a different color in the palette. By using the VBA Color Index, you can easily apply colors to various elements in your Excel sheets programmatically, making it useful for data visualization and formatting tasks.

Part 2: What is the Expression for the Excel VBA Color Index?

In this section, we'll delve into the different expressions available for the Excel VBA Color Index. These expressions allow you to easily choose and apply the desired colors using VBA code. Understanding the available expressions will empower you to create visually cohesive and professional-looking Excel sheets effortlessly.

A table showcasing the different grammatical expressions for the Excel VBA Color Index:




Represents no color, making the element transparent or invisible.


Sets the color to automatic, allowing Excel to determine the color based on the theme or formatting.

Integer Value

You can use an integer value ranging from 1 to 56 to specify a specific color from the Excel color palette. Each value corresponds to a unique color.

RGB Function

Utilize the RGB function to specify a custom color using Red, Green, and Blue components. For example, RGB(255, 0, 0) represents pure red.

RGB Hex Code

Use the RGB hexadecimal code to define a custom color. For instance, &HFF0000 represents red.

Color Constants

Excel provides predefined color constants such as vbRed, vbBlue, vbGreen, etc., which you can directly use to set colors.

Color Names

Instead of numeric values, you can use color names like "Red," "Green," "Blue," etc., to set colors in VBA.

These various expressions provide you with the flexibility to control and customize colors in your Excel sheets programmatically. Choose the expression that best fits your requirements and enhance the visual aesthetics of your Excel workbooks.

Part 3: How to Use Color and Color Index Property? (In Easy Steps)

This section is a step-by-step tutorial on how to effectively use the Color and Color Index Property in Excel. By following these simple steps, you'll be able to effortlessly set fill colors, border colors, and font colors for various elements in your worksheets. Enhance your Excel automation skills and create visually stunning reports and dashboards.

Step 1: Understanding Color Index Values

Familiarize yourself with the Color Index values in Excel (1 to 56), each representing a specific color in the Excel palette. You can choose a value or use RGB or color constants for custom colors.

Step 2: Setting Fill Colors for Cells

To set the fill color, select the desired cells, go to the "Home" tab, click "Fill Color," and choose a color. For VBA, use:

Range("A1").Interior.ColorIndex = 6

Step 3: Applying Font Colors

Change font colors by selecting cells, clicking "Font Color," and choosing a color. For VBA, use:

Range("A1").Font.ColorIndex = 3

Step 4: Setting Border Colors

Add border colors by selecting cells, clicking "Borders," and choosing "More Borders." For VBA, use:

With Range("A1").Borders

   .LineStyle = xlContinuous

   .ColorIndex = 1

End With

Step 5: Using RGB Function for Custom Colors

Select cells, choose "More Colors," and adjust RGB sliders to create custom colors. For VBA, use: Range("A1").Interior.Color = RGB(255, 0, 0)

By following these easy steps, you can efficiently use the Color and Color Index Property in Excel VBA, enhancing your spreadsheets with vibrant colors and engaging visuals.

Example: Setting Cell Colors Using VBA in Excel

Step 1: Open a new Excel workbook

Step 2: Press "ALT + F11" to open the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) editor

Step 3: In the VBA editor, click "Insert" from the menu and then select "Module" to insert a new module.

Step 4: In the module, enter the following VBA code:

Sub SetCellColors()

   ' Set the fill color of cell A1 to yellow (ColorIndex 6)

   Range("A1").Interior.ColorIndex = 6

   ' Set the font color of cell A2 to blue (ColorIndex 5)

   Range("A2").Font.ColorIndex = 5

   ' Add a red border around cell A3 with a continuous line style (ColorIndex 3)

   With Range("A3").Borders

       .LineStyle = xlContinuous

       .ColorIndex = 3

   End With

End Sub

Step 5: Close the VBA editor and return to the Excel workbook.

Step 6: Press "ALT + F8" to open the Macro dialog box.

Step 7: Select the "SetCellColors" macro from the list and click "Run" to execute the macro.

After running the macro, you will see the changes in your Excel sheet:

- Cell A1 will have a yellow background color.

- Cell A2 will have blue font color.

- Cell A3 will have a red border.

Congratulations! You have successfully used the Color and Color Index Property in VBA to format cells in Excel. This basic example demonstrates how you can easily apply colors to cells and elements in your worksheets programmatically using VBA code. Feel free to experiment with different ColorIndex values and customize the formatting as per your preferences.

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1. Can I create my own custom color index in Excel?

No, in Excel, you cannot create your own custom color index. The Color Index in Excel refers to a set of predefined color values, ranging from 1 to 56, that correspond to specific colors in the Excel color palette. These color index values are fixed and cannot be modified or customized by users.

2. How many colors are available in the Excel color index?

In Excel, the color index consists of 56 colors. Each color is represented by a specific numeric value ranging from 1 to 56. These color index values correspond to predefined colors in the Excel color palette. You can use these index values to set colors for cells, fonts, borders, shapes, and other elements in your Excel worksheets through VBA or the user interface.


In this article, we learned about the Color and Color Index Property in Excel VBA, understanding its concept and different grammatical expressions to set colors. With easy-to-follow steps and examples, we discovered how to apply colors to cells, fonts, and borders, enhancing the visual appeal of our Excel sheets. Moreover, we explored WPS Office, a free and compatible alternative for editing Microsoft Office documents on both Windows and Mac. With WPS Office, we can effortlessly create, edit, and save Office files, enjoying seamless functionality without the need for costly software. Embrace WPS Office for enhanced productivity and visually stunning documents.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.