I would like to quickly manually mark some cells of interest by changing their background to:

  • light red
  • light green
  • light grey

In old versions of Excel, this was easy: it was possible to detach the palette into separate tool window

enter image description here

and when target cells were selected, clicking desired color did the job. In recent Excel versions, I am unable to make the palette always visible so I always need clicking two different places when changing the color: 1 – open palette; 2 – select color.

Is there any way to pick from more colors on single click as before?

When finishing writing this question, I found one way and added it as answer but feel free to propose more efficient way, if you know it.


I found a way which requires some preparation, but then it works on single click.

Use cell styles

In Home tab, add styles for desired fill colors (follow yellow marking on image below).

Added styles are available on single click (see red marking on image below).

enter image description here

  • The Styles palette automatically expands to all available space in Home toolbar. The larger screen resolution is available, the more styles is reachable on single click.

  • On clicking the style, all groups of properties checked in Style window (also visible above) are applied to the cell. This allows to combine multiple styles applied to a cell if they do not overlap. To quickly revert to defaults, select Normal style.

  • Styles can be imported from another workbook using Merge Styles command accessible from bottom right button of the palette.

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