Changing Chart colors

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Since Apple added 3d charts to Keynote (a few versions back) one of the biggest questions has been, “How do I change the chart fills to one of the other available colors or textures?” Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to do.

Keynote 08 and 09 have special “Chart Colors” palette than can only be opened from the Chart Inspector. If you drop a chart on your slide, then visit the Chart Inspector, you’ll see a “Chart Colors” button. This opens a new little color/texture selector that includes 3d textures, 2d image and 2d color fills. If your chart is selected, you can choose one of the pre-made sets and apply it to your chart.

The one issue we have with this relates to Apple’s habit of limiting your selection (they do this with the picture frames feature too). There are actually MORE styles available inside Keynote, you just can’t get to them. The easy way to get to those is simply to create the chart in a theme that uses the chart style you like and copy and paste it into your presentation. There is a way to edit a plist inside Keynote to open up all these other styles, but that’s a tutorial for another day.

Lastly, you can also drag your own styles or textures into the bars of your chart or manually change the colors of your chart bars by clicking on them till you see little white dots on the top and bottom of the bars and changing the style in the Graphic Inspector.

Have fun customizing your charts!