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How to color your reports

Make your data story beautiful.

Consistent and meaningful use of color makes your reports more attractive and easier to understand. You can apply color and style options to a variety of aspects of a report, including static elements, such as, page and component backgrounds, text fonts and font colors, chart borders, grids, and so on. You can also apply colors to data elements, such as bars and lines, metric and dimension values, pie slices, and geographic regions.

Here are the ways you can work with color in Looker Studio.


Built-in color themes make it easy to quickly create attractive and visually consistent reports. When you apply a theme, it updates the settings for all the static and data elements in the report at once, saving you time and effort.

You can customize a theme by changing its properties.

Learn more about themes.

Style components individually

You can change color and style settings for individual components:

  1. Edit your report.
  2. Select one or more components.
  3. On the right, open the STYLE tab.
  4. Change the desired style settings. If you've selected more than one component, you'll only see settings common to all the selected components.

When you style an individual component, that component is no longer part of the report theme. If you apply a different theme, that component won't inherit the new theme's settings.

Color your data

You can use the following techniques to color the data that appears in charts:

  • Color by the dimension value. For example, "France" is always represented in blue, no matter where it appears in the chart. The dimension value colors are set by the current report theme, but you can override them by editing the dimension value color map.
  • Color by the order of the dimension data. For example, the first series in the chart is always blue. You can set the series colors by editing individual charts.
  • Use shades of a single color. This option is most effective when you don't need to show exact differences between values in the chart.

You can use different techniques in the same report, if that makes sense for your data.

Learn more about data coloring techniques.

The color picker

Use the color picker to select colors for themes and components. The color picker has 3 sections:

  1. The standard color palette. This is the same for all components in every report.
  2. The theme palette. This will change depending on your current theme.
  3. Custom color palette. Custom colors you create appear here.

To access the color picker:

  1. Edit your report.
  2. Select a component and then open the STYLE tab, or customize the current theme.
  3. Click a color option to display the color picker, then select the color you want for that option.

A user assigns colors to bars in a bar chart with the Bar order option selected in the Color By section of the Style tab.

In the Style tab menu of a bar chart, a cursor hovers over the Chart background icon to select a background color for the chart grid.

Examples of color options.

Create custom colors

The custom color gradient picker displays the hex of the selected color, #4285f4.

Click + in the CUSTOM colors row of the color picker to create a custom color. Click anywhere in the color bars to pick a base color, then use the sliders to adjust the shade. You can also enter a color hex value to render that color. The current color's hex value can also be used to exactly duplicate a custom color in another component.

For example, in the image on the right, the blue color swatch has the hex value #4285f4. You can copy and paste this value into another object's color picker to set it to this soothing shade of blue.

Color gradients

The gradient control displays the selected hex color #183295ff and the diagonal option selected from the Orientation drop-down menu.

When one color fades into another, the effect is called a gradient. You can use gradients in a component's background color property.

  1. Click the background color control: Background color icon
  2. Click Gradient

The left and right color swatches determine the starting and ending colors. Enter the specific color hex values, choose from the palette, or use the vertical sliders to select the color.

The orientation arrow controls the flow of the gradient.

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