Cascade/waterfall chart with positive change bars shown in gold and negative shown in silver

How do I set default colors for a cascade?

A user recently asked us if there was a way to use brand standard colors as defaults for a cascade chart. Here's how you can do it:

From your Excel spreadsheet, apply conditional formatting rules to your data. In this case, we chose to color the bar silver if its value is negative and gold if it is positive. See the Excel data and rule below:

Conditional formatting

Then, from the Mekko Graphics ribbon in Excel, choose "Chart In PowerPoint" and select "Cascade" to insert a chart using this data into your presentation. Note: you could also choose "Chart In Excel" and keep your chart in Excel. Double click on the chart to open the data editor. You can see that your Excel color formats are included in the data sheet. Right click on the cell with the label "Bar 6" and select "Set as Total Cascade Bar".

To apply the colors using your conditional formatting rules, click on Chart in the Mekko Graphics ribbon to open the Format Chart task pane. Click on the Style tab and select the option "Apply Cell Colors from Spreadsheet".

Apply cell colors

Now all of the positive bars in your cascade are gold and the negative bars are silver. If you would like to adjust the color of your total bars, hold the Ctrl key and select both bars. Then right click and choose a color under the Segment drop down menu.

Conditional cascade

You can also view our conditional formatting video to see more examples of how to use this feature.