How do I change the colour of text in Word?

26 Jun

How do you change the colour of the text in your Word document?

Why would I want to change the colour of the text in my document?

You might want a section of the text to stand out, to match your company branding or to look attractive on a menu or other display document. It’s easy to change the text colour to do this.

Note: don’t use changed text colour to alert your proofreader/editor to something you want to do – read this article to find out why.

How to change the text colour using the menu bar

You can find the text colour button in the Home tab, in the font section of the menu bar:

1 colour in menu

Make sure the text that you want to appear in a different colour has been highlighted. Locate the letter A with a red underline and click on the down arrow to the right of the letter to access the Colour menu:

1 colour template from menu

To see how to use this palette, hop down past the next section and join me at “How to select your colour”.

How to change the text colour using right click

You can do a lot to a chunk of text by highlighting it and right-clicking. Try that on some text now by highlighting it then right-clicking over the highlighted text:

2 colour in right-click

You will now find not one but two ways to change the text colour – a button with an A underlined in red (circled) and a Font menu (arrow). If you click on the button, you’ll get to the same point as in the section above. Click on Font for now ..

3 colour in right-click

In the Font menu, you’ll find all sorts of things you can do to your font – very useful if you want to apply particular effects to the highlighted section of text. For now, we’re going to use the drop down arrow under Font color to select our font colour:

4 colour template in right-click

We’ve now got a choice of basic colours, with common ones at the bottom. Click, for example, on the first green, and your highlighted text will turn green, although you’ll need to press the OK button to make that change stick:

5 change colour

How do I choose a custom colour for my text?

You can, of course, go even more customised than this. In both ways to access the menu, you’ll find the words More colors… at the bottom of the palette:

6 more colours

Clicking on this option will give you the Customise colours dialogue box, with two sets of increasingly customisable colour palettes to choose from. First of all, we have Standard colours:

7 more colours standard

You can see that we’re on the Standard tab here: there are plenty of colours and shades of grey to choose from, and you click on the colour and press OK to accept it. Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can select the Custom tab

8 more colours custom

… and have a huge range of colours to choose from. Here, you can click on the colour and then move the arrow up and down to adjust the amount of black in the colour, and it handily shows you the original and new colours at the bottom of the dialogue box.

Now you know how to change the text colour in Word to an almost infinite number of colour choices. You can use the same button or right-click and font option in Excel and PowerPoint, too.


This is part of my series on how to avoid time-consuming “short cuts” and use Word in the right way to maximise your time and improve the look of your documents.

Please note, these hints work with versions of Microsoft Word currently in use – Word 2003, Word 2007 and Word 2010, all for PC. Mac compatible versions of Word should have similar options. Always save a copy of your document before manipulating it. I bear no responsibility for any pickles you might get yourself into!

Find all the short cuts here

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Posted by on June 26, 2013 in Errors, New skills, Short cuts, Word, Writing


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