Palettes

Update 4-6-2017: Post updated and applies to all versions of Dynamics CRM from CRM 2011 to Dynamics 365

When creating charts in Dynamics CRM/365, CRM creates a custom palette. However, it is the same custom palette that is being used throughout all your 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.

Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palettes

To apply a Palette, delete the PaletteCustomColors property and color codes. Then replace the “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 (Dynamics 365 has 24)
  • 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 custom color palette

Palette Options

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

  • Bright
  • Grayscale
  • Excel
  • Light
  • Pastel
  • EarthTones
  • SemiTransparent
  • Berry
  • Chocolate
  • Fire
  • SeaGreen
  • BrightPastel (the default if set to “None”)

Unfortunately, Microsoft doesn’t seem to provide a graphical overview of the colors included, so here are 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 reverse 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.

Standard Dynamics CRM custom palette for column charts
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palettes

You are probably familiar with this color scheme by now.

Bright
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Bright

GrayScale
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Grayscale 50 Shades of Grey

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.

Excel
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Excel

But WHY!!!!! – Well, if you really like the Excel color scheme.

Light
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Light

Pastel
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Pastel

EarthTones
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette EarthTones

SemiTransparent
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette SemiTransparent

If you look closely you can see the gridlines through the columns. This may be more interesting to use on area charts or radar charts.

Berry
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Berry

Chocolate
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Chocolate

Fire
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette Fire

SeaGreen
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette SeaGreen

BrightPastel (the default if set to “None”)
Dynamics 365 Chart xml, Dynamics CRM Chart XML, using color palette BrightPastel

Hope you found the tip useful. As always please sign up for my newsletter and follow me on Twitter.

6 thoughts on “Palettes

  1. Hi
    I need your help regarding some properties on Chart Series !

    I am a defining a series like this :

    This works fine as per I want.

    I want to set a customPalette on Series. How can I do that ?
    I know I can do that by setting Palette=”none”. But how can I define color scheme for paletter Custom colors ?

    2. If I try for msdn, all the documentation seems to be relative to SSRS rdl files. And I noticed that CRM chart visualisation properties are different than SSRS design properties. Where can I find proper documentation on this ?

    Thanks a lot !

  2. This is fab- we can set palettes for individual charts; thank you.
    Is it possible to change the default for all charts at a system level (dynamics crm) rather than individual chart level?
    We look forward to your advice.

  3. […] Adding a Palette to a series will give each datapoint its own color. It can be a useful to distinguish columns etc. in charts where only one color is used. You can only use one of the named palettes. That means you cannot create your own color scheme for this. However, there is a number of named palettes to choose from. Click here for a full list of palettes with samples. […]

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