NOTE. Not to be confused with Conditional Formatting

When using the Custom Numbers in Excel I often use RED font for a negative number.

See image below.

enter image description here

What other Colours can be used in this way ?

I know Green & Blue work, but is there a full list available ?

4 Answers 4


In addition to the 8 named colors you can also use [ColorX], where X is a number between 1 and 56. The named colors are identical to [Color1] to [Color8].

A quick way to see all the colors provided is to run the following in the immediate window in VBA (preferably in an empty workbook):

for x = 1 to 56:cells(x,1) = "AAAA":cells(x,1).numberformat = "[COLOR"&x &"]@":Next x
  • 12
    @Naryb. Yes. It's true. Great answer. I've tested it in Office 2007. Here is the 56 color palette
    – jcbermu
    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:53
  • 1
    Note that the individual colors in the 56-color palette are customizable. @jcb Oct 28, 2017 at 0:53
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    Your answer looks misleading.   Based on the link that jcbermu provided, you should say, “In addition to the 8 named colors you can also use [ColorX], where X is a number between 9 and 56.” — because Color 1 though Color 8 are the eight named colors. Oct 28, 2017 at 6:29
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    @Scott - I've edited to clarify the overlap, thanks for pointing that out.
    – Nayrb
    Oct 30, 2017 at 11:54

According to this, There are only 8 colors, the list is:









It applies to Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010 and Excel 2007

  • 1
    I was hoping for a lot more variation than that ! but thanks for the info
    – PeterH
    Oct 27, 2017 at 8:52
  • If you want to use other colors, I'm fairly sure most of the Custom Number formatting rules can be emulated using conditional formatting.
    – Nzall
    Oct 27, 2017 at 12:24

If l'm not mistaken Excel has 56 Colour available to use with Number Format. Either use Name or Colour number.

[Blue Grey] $#, ##0; [Sea Green]-$#, ##0
[Color4] $#, ##0; [Color3]-$#, ##0



You can change the colors also by using color4 or color44 for orange. Just play with the numbers to get more colors.

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