Working with Color

This topic covers how you can work with color to enhance visualizations.

Color in Visualizations

You can work with color to make visualizations more attractive, dynamic, and informative. You can color a series of measure values (for example, Sales or Forecasted Sales) or a series of attribute values (for example, Product and Brand).

The Visualize canvas has a Color drop target where you can put a measure column, attribute column, or set of attributes columns. Note how the canvas assigns color to the columns that are included in the Color drop target:

  • When a measure is in the Color drop target, then you can select different measure range types (for example, single color, two color, and three color) and specify advanced measure range options (for example, reverse, number of steps, and midpoint).

  • When you have one attribute in the Color drop target, then the stretch palette is used by default. Color palettes contain a set number of colors (for example, 12 colors), and those colors repeat in the visualization. The stretch palette extends the colors in the palette so that each value has a unique color shade.

  • If you have multiple attributes in the Color drop target, then the hierarchical palette is used by default, but you can choose to use the stretch palette, instead. The hierarchical palette assigns colors to groups of related values. For example, if the attributes in the Color drop target are Product and Brand and you have selected Hierarchical Palette, then in your visualization, each brand has its own color, and within that color, each product has its own shade.

Setting Visualization Colors

Use the Visualize canvas to modify the visualization’s color. Your color choices are shared across all visualizations on the canvas, so if you change the series or data point color in one visualization, then it appears on the other visualizations.

Accessing Color Options

To edit color options for a visualization, select the visualization and click Menu on the visualization toolbar and select Color. The available color options depend on how the measures and attributes are set up in your visualization.

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Changing the Color Palette

The application includes several color palettes. Each palette contains 12 colors, but you can use the color stretching option to expand the colors in the visualization.

  1. Select the visualization that you want to change the color palette for.

  2. In the visualization toolbar, click Menu and select Color, then select Manage Assignments. The Manage Color Assignments dialog is displayed.

  3. Locate the Series Color Palette and click the name of the color palette used in the visualization (for example, Default or Alta).

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  4. From the list, select the color palette that you want to apply to the visualization.

Managing Color Assignments

Instead of using the palette’s default colors, you can use the Manage Color Assignments feature to choose specific colors to fine-tune the look of your visualizations.

  1. Select the visualization that you want to change the colors for.

  2. In the visualization toolbar, click Menu and select Color, then select Manage Assignments. The Manage Color Assignments dialog is displayed.

  3. If you’re working with a measure column, you can do the following:

    • Click the box containing the color assigned to the measure. From the color picker dialog, select the color that you want to assign to the measure. Click OK.

    • Hover over the measure name and click Edit option to expand the panel containing the measure’s color information. Click Measure Options to change the color range, if necessary. Note that the color range options are determined by the selected series color palette, but six standard color ranges are also available (for example, two color and stoplight three color).

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    • Specify how you want the color range to be displayed for the measure (for example, reverse the color range, pick a different color range, and specify how many shades you want in the color range).

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  4. If you’re working with an attribute column, then click the box containing the color assignment that you want to change. From the color picker dialog, select the color that you want to assign to the value. Click OK.

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Resetting Colors

You can experiment with visualization colors and then easily revert to the visualization’s original colors.

Select the visualization that you want to reset the colors for. In the visualization’s toolbar, click Menu and select Color, then select Reset Visualization Colors.

Applying or Removing the Stretch Palette

Color palettes have a set number of colors, and if your visualization contains more values than the number of color values, then the palette colors are repeated. Use the Stretch Palette option to expand the number of colors in the palette. Stretch coloring adds light and dark shades of the palette colors to give each value a unique color. For some visualizations, stretch coloring is used by default.

Select the visualization that you want to adjust the stretch palette from. In the visualization’s toolbar, click Menu and select Color, and then select Stretch Palette to turn this option on or off.

Applying or Removing the Hierarchical Palette

The hierarchical palette assigns color groups for certain attributes. For example, if your visualization contains Revenue, Product, and Brand, and Product and Brand are in the color drop area, then each brand has its own color, and within that color each product has its own shade. For some visualizations, hierarchical coloring is used by default. In some cases, you can toggle between Hierarchical Palette and Stretch Palette.

When two attributes (for example, Brand, Product) are colored hierarchically and then the attributes are reordered, the application maintains the color hierarchy as Brand, Product. To switch the order of the hierarchical coloring after switching the order of the attributes in the visualization, you must reset the visualization colors or turn hierarchical coloring off and then on again. The application doesn’t use metadata to determine the hierarchical order of attributes (for example, Year, Month), it uses only the order of the attributes in the Color drop target for the ordering of the hierarchy.

You can switch the color hierarchy for the attributes. The order of the attributes in the Color drop target determines the hierarchical order of the attributes. When two attributes (for example, Brand, Product) are colored hierarchically and then the attributes are reordered (for example, Product, Brand), the application maintains the original color hierarchy (for example, as Brand, Product).

  1. Select the visualization that you want to adjust the hierarchical palette for.

  2. In the visualization toolbar, click Menu and select Color, then select Hierarchical Palette to turn this option off.

  3. In the Visualize canvas, click Color and click Hierarchical Palette to turn this option back on.

Applying a Repeating Color Palette

In some cases, you might want to use a repeating color palette in your visualization. If your visualization contains more values than colors in the palette, then the colors are reused and aren’t unique.

  1. Select the visualization that you want to apply the repeating color palette to.

  2. In the visualization toolbar, click Menu and select Color, then select Hierarchical Palette to turn this option off.

  3. In the Visualize canvas, click Color and click Stretch Palette to turn this option off.