How to fill an Excel cell with two colours

Updated April 17, 2017

Excel enables users to clarify different groups of data by allowing the background of cells to be coloured. This means you can enhance the presentation of accounts or a table written in Excel by using different backgrounds for heading, data and totals cells. You can even fill a cell with two colours.


Click in a cell to make it active. Click the right mouse button to get the right-click menu. Select “Format Cells.” A window will appear.

Select the first of the two colours you want to use by clicking on one of the colour blocks in the “Background colour” section of the “Fill” tab. You will have a wider selection of colours if you press the “More colours” button.

Pick a second colour from the “Pattern colour” section of the ”Fill” tab. Click on the arrow next to the “Pattern style” field to get a grid of pattern options. Pick the pattern you like most. Click “OK” and the “Format Cells” window will close. The cell you started in is now filled with two colours arranged in a pattern.


Click in the cell you want to paint with a background colour. Click the right mouse button and select “Format Cells” button from the right-click menu. The “Format Cells” window will appear.

Select the “Fill” tab. Click on the “Fill Effects” button beneath the “Background Colour” section of the page. This opens the “Fill Effects” window.

Click the “Two colours” radio button in the “Gradient” tab. Select the two colours you want to use from the “Colour 1” and “Colour 2” pick lists. These two colours will blend together and you can decide what pattern you want for the blend by clicking each of the radio buttons in the “Shading styles” section of the screen. A preview block will show you how the cell will be presented for each alternate layout.

Click the “OK” button to close the “Fill Effects” window. Click “OK” to close the “Format Cells” Window. The cell you selected is now filled with two colours blending together.

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About the Author

Stephen Byron Cooper began writing professionally in 2010. He holds a Bachelor of Science in computing from the University of Plymouth and a Master of Science in manufacturing systems from Kingston University. A career as a programmer gives him experience in technology. Cooper also has experience in hospitality management with knowledge in tourism.