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150 Custom Color Palettes for PowerPoint, Word and Excel – Modern Color Schemes

Microsoft Office applications contain a shared library of over 20 alternative color palettes. PowerPoint, Word, and Excel share this same library of color schemes. However, I often find it difficult to find a good combination of colors for my PowerPoint projects within this built-in color library. More likely the colors in these palettes are not the ones we are going to use when creating branded presentations and documents. 

Most of these built-in color swatches are dull, unexciting, and outdated looking.

The good news is you can customize PowerPoint, Word, and Excel theme colors. Custom color palettes are especially useful when you have to use a non-predefined color scheme very often, such as the corporate colors of the company. You can develop a custom color palette to match your organization’s color scheme or to convey an idea or elicit a mood.

The bad news is unless you’re a professional designer, it takes hours and tremendous effort to find a color combination that works.

That’s why I have created a downloadable library of 150 modern color schemes for PowerPoint and other Office applications. After downloading the package, just follow the simple installation instructions provided in the User Guide file. Thereafter you will always have these beautiful color combinations in your preferred office application.

Custom color palettes for PowerPoint Word & Excel - Modern color swatches
150 Custom color palettes for Microsoft PowerPoint, Word & Excel

These color combinations are inspired from Abode color library and Coolors. Special thanks are given to those who had published these fantastic color combos.

Featured Template – Ultimate Business PowerPoint Template


  1. PJ Gunasekera

    Thank you Sampath! That’s a great set of colour schemes and a really unique way to share them 🙂

  2. Hi, i’ve already pasted all the XML files into the theme color folder but these color palate still not appeared in my Excel and Power Point. I use macOX mojave..

    1. Rita Moreira

      you have to restart

  3. This is great. Question: you provide custom color palettes but only show 5 colors in each palette when, creating a theme color requires six accent colors. Can you advise?

    1. Sampath Sri Warnakula

      Thank you, Kathleen.

      Accent 6 is available with each color palette. Please check once you have installed the color themes. Cheers!

  4. Thank you very much

  5. Ethical.Sun

    Sampath ! Thank you so so so much.
    I’ve quite a bad eye do match colors, and your selections (also the ones you took palettes from) are wonderful !
    So much work for the xml ! Well done, good job, and THANK YOU !

  6. Hello Sampath,

    thank you a lot.
    I was download (150 modern color schemes) from your website

    but I would like to ask:
    Can I use these colors for a commercial use?

    Best Regards,

    1. Sampath Sri Warnakula

      Yes, feel free to use these on your business projects. Thanks!

      1. Thank you very much (Sampath Sri Warnakula).

        You are a cute person

  7. Hiya, these are gorgeous. Are they possible to use with Microsoft 365

    1. Sampath Sri Warnakula


  8. Mylene Kempers

    Thank you!!

  9. Bokka elassss

  10. Having trouble using the downloaded color palettes after pasting them in the correct folder. Using Windows btw, help please

  11. Jasmine Joei Montemayor

    How to access after downloading it? I can’t find it in my Microsoft. Thank you!

    1. Sampath Sri Warnakula

      Hi Jasmine, Please follow the instructions given in the ‘User Guide’ pdf. You may find it in the downloaded folder. thanks!

  12. Bernd Bausch

    This is extremely generous, thanks.

    I didn’t find the Colors menu (or Fonts, Effects, Background Styles also shown in the instructions) in the Design tab, though I (believed I) clicked about everywhere. After a bit of googling I understood where that menu is hidden.
    My point being that you may want to keep the dummies among your fans in mind and make it easier for them to open that menu.

    But again, thanks!

  13. You are incredible, much love

  14. Adnan Malik

    How can I increase the number of shades for example in ACCENT we have just four selections. Supposedly I want to bring 6 levels.

    I am looking to increase number of shades… as gradients.

    1. Hi Adnan,

      Unfortunately, the default limit is 5 levels of shades/tints.

      I think there was a third-party add-on to extend the number of shades in PPT color palettes. I just cannot recall its name right now. Sorry!

  15. That’s awesome.
    what’s the terms of use of this colors?

    1. Free to use for both personal and commercial projects. Don’t sell as it is 🙂

  16. nasim yegane

    thank you

  17. António Silva

    Hi I tried install this as it shows in user’s guide, but since I’m using office 365 doesn’t show the templates paste inside Microsoft paste in App Data, can you help?

    1. Hi! The path is “C:\Users\[USER NAME]\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates\Document Themes\Theme Colors

      If The Microsoft and folder ahead is missing just create it… it will work

  18. Does any of these palettes match the old standard palett in excel (from 2003 and earlier)

  19. These are great, but they need to have proper names, something meaningful, not just *001, *002, etc.

  20. Thanks for this… helps a lot

  21. I cannot for the life of me get this installed on my MacBook (Ventura 13.0) and when I open the XML files, it says no longer supported 🙁

    1. Hi Molly
      Sorry for your trouble. Anyway, I don’t think you have to open XML files.

      In the Mac OS X Finder, find your custom theme color folder in
      /Users/ Username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/User Templates/My Themes/Theme Colors.

      Then copy all the XML files from the downloaded package to the above ‘Theme Colors’ folder.

      After that, you will have to restart the machine. Let me know how it goes.

  22. Edivam Cabral

    Achei fantástico os arquivos, meus parabéns… Eu vendo cursos ensinando a fazer programação em VBA usando o Excel… Gostaria de saber se posso usar os seus arquivos XMLs nos meus cursos????? Lógico que eu lhe darei os devidos créditos além de orientar aos meus alunos para virem baixar aqui seus modelos…

  23. Looking for a primary color palette. ROYGBP I assume you can only have 5 ranges…

  24. Thank you so much 🙂 I have been looking for something like this for a long time, found it on Pinterest. Great colour combos and was so easy to install with your guide. Thx

  25. Dr Gaurav Jyani

    Thank you so much dear Sampath for this free resource. They are very easy to install. Use of these colors makes the presentation of document/ slides very impressive. Loving these.. Best of luck!

  26. These seem to not work anymore – I have been using these in PowerPoint for 2 years, but now they seem to not be working in powerpoint anymore. Is there a trick to get them to work again?

    1. Hi, may I know your OS version and PowerPoint app version?

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