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Theme colours for designing reports in Power BI

One thing, unfortunately missing currently from Power BI is being able to create theme colours for your reports. The only way to change the colours within a report is to go and change the HEX values manually within the formatting section. You can obviously use the current palette, but quite frequently this isn't enough. There may be corporate colours to use or you even just may want your report to pop a bit more with some vibrant and coordinated colours.


Theme Colours 2.png

This is simple in excel as themes are automatically setup to pre-populate the colour palette when they are selected, making creating charts and worksheet formatting relatively easy, but in Power BI it's a different story at moment.


Also, excel does not actually give you HEX values anywhere in the palette itself.


Theme Colours 3.png

It shows only RGB (or HSL) values. So historically the only way I was able to get a range of HEX values for colours was to find a converter online that did the job for me. This took a lot of time as you can imagine, especially if I wanted an entire palette of colours. (I actually did this once and vowed never again!)


Changing colours is quite a manual task in Power BI, that's why I have voted here and hope that you will also. Getting theme colour selection embedded into Power BI desktop will almost instantly improve the look and feel or every users reports, let only save a huge amount of time manually having to update HEX values.


So, to get around the current predicament of no theme colours I created a model in excel which uses a custom function that calculates all the HEX values of an entire excel theme.


This has enabled me to get an entire palette of colours that I can use to format my reports. I've decided to share this with the community, so hopefully, others find it a useful as I do and can utilise it to create amazing looking reports.


To use the tool locate the download available with this post.


Select a theme in excel, either a custom Microsoft one or your own corporate one.


Theme Colours 4.png


Once selected the HEX values will show for the theme.



Theme Colours 5.png


From here confirm the theme.


Theme Colours 6.png

You then input what you would like to call the new theme. Following that a new worksheet will be created, with the name you just input along with the HEX values. These HEX values become hard coded so that it is as easy as a copy and paste over to Power BI.


Theme Colours 7.png



By using this tool, you are able to get numerous looks for your reports depending on the colours you decide to use. I've found it has sped up my design time on my reports immensely since I've started using it and is a useful work-around until we have some more efficient colour formatting ability within Power BI itself.


For examples on how I use the colours within a selected palette, check out some of my reports on the Partner Showcase (Enterprise DNA).






What is your favorite Power BI feature release for September 2023?