Fundamentals of setting the colors of a graph

The color of the data values for each series in a graph can be set in several ways using the Color control in the graph properties. The options are Match with Layer, Palette, and Custom.

Match with Layer drop-down


If there is more than one series in the graph, the legend will only represent the series that have the Color setting of Custom. If it is set to Palette or Match with Layer, no symbology is displayed.

Matching the colors to the layer

The default type for most graphs is Match with Layer, where the colors of the symbology used for the layer will also be applied to the graph.

If the layer is displayed with a single symbol renderer, all of the values in the graph will be displayed using the same color.

Appropriate feature symbologies

Not every symbology renderer in ArcGIS is appropriate to use as a source for the graph's colors.

Renderers that will work for feature data




Single symbol


Unique values

Unique values, many fields

Match to symbols in a style


Graduated colors

Graduated symbols

Supported symbology renderers
Renderers that will not be applied to the graph




Proportional symbols

Dot density





Multiple Attributes

Quantity by category

Supported symbology renderers


The Custom option will apply a single color to all the values. When this option is selected, a color picker button will appear. Clicking it will open a selection of colors to choose from.

Choose More Colors if you want to explicitly define your own color to use. Click the Color Model Picker button Color model picker of the Color Selector to use a different color model (RGB, CMYK, HSV, or Advanced).


The Palette option provides several predefined palettes from which the colors for the graph will be drawn. This is most useful when creating graphs from a table, since you cannot apply any symbology to tables.

The colors will automatically wrap if there are more values to graph than colors in the palette.

Available color palettes

There are 10 color palettes available:

Default (20 colors)

Default palette

The TeeChart palette is identical to the Default palette.

Classic (12 colors)

Classic palette

Excel (22 colors)

Excel palette

Modern (14 colors)

Modern palette

Pastel (14 colors)

Pastel palette

Rainbow (25 colors)

Rainbow palette

Solid (8 colors)

Solid palette

Victorian (11 colors)

Victorian palette

Web (9 colors)

Web palette

Windows XP (13 colors)

Windows XP palette

Related Topics

Published 6/7/2010