Sample Visual Basic code to create a color index table in Excel

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Article ID: 213801 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q213801
For a Microsoft Excel 98 version of this article, see 192906.
For a Microsoft Excel 7.0 and earlier version of this article, see 149170.
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The sample macro in the "More Information" section prints a sample of each color in one column in Microsoft Excel, and then prints the index number for that color in the adjacent column.

This type of list is valuable for determining how a certain color will print on your printer.


Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements.

The color index number represents the position of a particular color on the sample palette. To view the default palette, click Cells on the Format menu, and then click the Pattern tab. The number is incremented from left-to-right and then down. On the default palette, black has the index number of 1, and cyan has a color index of 8.

Note This macro prints a sample of 56 colors even though later versions of Excel support many more colors.

Sample Visual Basic procedure

   Sub ColorIndexList()

       ' Begin error trapping.
       On Error GoTo Done

       ' Put the word Color in active cell.
       ActiveCell.Formula = "Color"
       ' Put the words Color Index Number one cell to right of active cell.
       ActiveCell.Offset(0, 1).Formula = "Color Index Number"

       ' Select one cell down from active cell.
       ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Activate

       ' Begin loop from 1 to 56.
       For xColor = 1 To 56

          ' Apply color and pattern properties to active cell.
          With ActiveCell.Interior
             .ColorIndex = xColor
             .Pattern = xlSolid
             .PatternColorIndex = xlAutomatic
          End With

          ' Put color index in cell to right of active cell.
          ActiveCell.Offset(0, 1).Formula = xColor

          ' Select next cell down.
          ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).Activate

          ' Increment For loop.
       Next xColor


   End Sub


Article ID: 213801 - Last Review: February 1, 2007 - Revision: 5.1
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
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