Power BI

Content by Charles Sterling

Format Painter in Power BI and other color stuff

(If you want to see the color tools in action be sure to check out my @GuyinaCube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECaa_vqSwTI)

How Power BI determines colors can be a bit of a mystery and i seem to spend time on aligning those colors…

This was the inspiration of “my” Power Bi Color Theme tool:

The Theme Master 500 (named after my Barbecue in Australia!)


The reason I am quoting the word “my” is Petr Staníček: Dobrý did most of the work in the widget creation and i just wrote the shim to export to a Power BI Theme.

Also if you tried to access the Theme Master 500 in the last week and it was “down” i left on a VM and ran my Azure subscription out of credits (yep happens to us too!)

If you find yourself doing this on a regular basis there is an Azure feature that will automatically shut down your VMs.  Please See:

Azure DevTest Labs

Asking one of the Devs on the Power Desktop Team they indicated the colors are selected via the following heuristics

  1. Static measure series will grab colors from the theme starting as position zero. There is no cross-visual sharing of colors for static series.
  2. Dynamic series will use a first-come first-served shared color palette for category. So a specific category will always be the same color (e.g. red) on all visuals. However, depending on load timing, it may be green on all visuals the next time you (or someone else) view it.

How to use the Power BI Format Painter

Which begs the question is there a way to speed up aligning the look across different visuals in Power BI…Turns out the Power BI Desktop has a format painter!

To use the Power BI Format Painter select the data series in the Visual you want to copy the format from.

Note in the image below below i have selected the purple manufacture in the left image, selected the format painter and applied it on the column chart on the right…

Note this is not just updating the color but also updating all of the formatting options i hadn’t already manually set.