For column, bar, cylinder, cone and
pyramid charts there is an option to automatically display an
alternative colour if the value is negative. This feature can be very
handy but configuring it is awkward to say the least.
How To Use 'Invert if negative'
Lets start with a normal column
chart. Negative bars are currently coloured the same as
From the Format Data Series
dialog we can enable the 'Invert if negative' option.
This is how the Invert if
negative will work according to the help. (Note: pie charts do not plot negatives and the option is not
available for either pie or area)
The result is a different
colour for the negative values.
So now we want to select a suitable negative colour.
If we once again display the
Format Data Series dialog and press Fill Effects we will see the
dialog shown below. The Foreground colour matches the positive
bars and the Background colour matches with the negative bars.
So we change the background colour to the desired colour for our
Now you may have noticed that
all the Patterns contain a mixture of Foreground and Background.
As we want solid colours we will have to select the pattern with
the least intrusive pattern, which is the 5% pattern.
So now the bars are have
different colours for positive and negative values.
BUT wait, they are the complete
opposite of what we want!
Lets go back to the Fill
Effects dialog and swap the colour selection.
That's better, we now have the
right colours for the positive and negative bars. Although our
chart looks as though it has measles.
To get rid of those spots go
back to the Format Data Series dialog and select the required
colour for the positive bars.
There we go a chart with solid
positive and negative colours.