When creating charts in Dynamics CRM, CRM creates a custom palette. However, it is the same custom palette that is being used on all you charts. So when you have dashboards with charts displaying data from different entities or different types of data, it can be difficult for the user to tell the information apart when everything is red, green and blue.
Fortunately it is fairly easy to export the charts xml file and modify it to display different color schemes, or Palettes as they are called. The Palette settings can be found right in the beginning of the presentationdescription. A quick search for “Palette” in your favorite xml editor (mine is Notepad++) will help you find it.
To apply a Palette, delete the cusot colors and replace “None” with one of the available Palette names. Before we start changing things, there a couple of things that are good to know about Palettes
- They contain 16 colors – if you have more than 16 series in a chart, the colors start repeating after 16
- The custom palette that CRM adds to charts have 12 colors
- If Palette is “None” and there are no custom colors, then the Palette “BrightPastel” is used
- If Palette is used, it will take precedence over your palette custom colors
The 12 different palettes available can be found here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.web.ui.datavisualization.charting.chartcolorpalette.aspx
The options available are
- BrightPastel (the default if set to “None”)
Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t seem to provide a graphical overview of the colors included, so here’s some samples to give you an idea of the color schemes.
The series is numbered 1-9 and are sorted in the same order. Meaning series 1 is the first color awarded etc. I am using a stacked column chart which shows the series in reverese order. Not sure why that is the default setting for a stacked chart. I figured 9 colors was enough to get an idea of what the palette looks like.
You are probably familiar with this color scheme by now.
Interesting that this is the only Palette that features a scale that gradually increases from light to dark. This might have been useful with other colors too.
But WHY!!!!! – Well, if you really like the Excel color scheme.
If you look closely you can see the gridlines though the columns. This may be more interesting to use on area charts or radar charts.