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Colour combinations for PowerBI Reports

Had a chat with a friend, and the issue of colours came up. That brought about the need for this article.

Some of us are bad with colours; that’s who we are. I am one. The best we could do is find a way around this with technology.

For me, I believe if there is a problem that technology can’t solve now, it’s just a matter of time before something is created/invented.

So, what do you do if you are bad with colours like me? The answer is simple, deploy technology to solve the problem. You don’t need to have sleepless nights worrying about which combination of colours is suitable enough for your report.

Two technologies you can deploy are;

There are some people, who have the gift of mixing different colours. If I come across one of their reports and I love the colour combination, I either save it as an image somewhere or take a screenshot

Then what next?

Take the image to either of those websites and get the colour codes from there. Straightforward. People post dashboards almost every day; I let them worry about colour combinations for me. There is no award for best in colour combination.

Let’s take a quick tour of how I go about it. For now, we will be using google search.

Step 1 — Search for a lovely report online.

Step 2 — Upload saved image and extract colour codes.

You can also create your own colour combination.

Note that while using to create your own matching colours, you don’t need to lock in two colours. You can just lock in 1, which will suggest four other colours that match the one you locked in.

You can also decide to use colour picker.

Do you know the most exciting part? You don’t need to go through this step of selecting colours every time; you can just create a reusable theme that you can always import.

This is how. First, export the pallet.

Select Code and download

Open the downloaded file, and you have something like this.

What we need are these sets of numbers.

Here is the theme template file you will edit and load into PowerBI.

You will paste the colours generated into the square bracket.

Then put an # sign in front of each colour code to make it look like this.

By saving this, you’ve created a theme template which you can always reuse. All you need to do is go to the view tab in PowerBI.

Select the drop-down arrow and click on browse for themes

Locate the theme template and select it. If you can’t find it, set it to All files.

Notice how the colours in my powerbi are precisely the same as those extracted on the websites.

For reuse purposes, you can now always import this theme and use the same set of colours.

With those two websites, you don’t need to worry about colours. If you see any design and you feel it’s nice, screenshot and save it somewhere, it doesn’t always have to be a dashboard.


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