Change Tab Color (Worksheet Tab Background Color)


- Written by Puneet

In Excel, for each worksheet, you have a tab at the bottom. To make a sheet distinct from other sheets can use the tab color option to apply a background color. In the tutorial, we will look at simple steps to apply a background color to a tab.


Steps to Change the Tab Color in Excel

  1. First, right-click on the sheet tab where you want to apply the color.
  2. From the right-click menu, click on the Tab Color.
  3. After that, choose the color that you want to apply to the tab.
  4. In the end, click on the color to apply it.

If you are using Excel on Mac, the steps to change the tab color is the same as we have used in Windows.


Use Tab Color from the Home Tab

  1. First, activate the sheet for which you want to change the tab background color.
  2. Now, click on the “Format” drop-down.
  3. After that, go to the Tab Color Option.
  4. In the end, choose the color you want to apply and click to apply it.

And in Mac, the steps are the same as you have in Windows.


Keyboard Shortcut to Change the Worksheet Tab Color


You need to press these keys in a sequence, and this will open the tab color option from the format drop-down that we have used in the previous method.

Once you use this keyboard shortcut, you need to choose the color using the navigation keys and, in the end, hit enter to apply the color.

When you activate a sheet, the tab color will get a little tighter that its shade.

Custom Color

If you want to use colors other than the theme and default colors, click the “More Colors…” option.


In the more colors dialog box, you can use a (HEX) or (RGB) code to specify the custom color you want to apply to the tab.


Remove Sheet Tab Color

If you want to remove the sheet tab color, you can use any of the above methods and open the tab color option. After that, click on the “No Color” option to remove the color.


I Can’t Apply, Change, or Remove the Tab Color

There could be a reason when you open the tab color option and it’s greyed out.


The reason for this could be that your Excel file is protected.


VBA Code to Add Tab Color

Sub ColorAllTab()

Dim ws As Worksheet
Dim wm As String
Dim i As Integer
wm = InputBox("Enter the Sheet Name to Apply the Tab Color", "Sheet Name")
For Each ws In ActiveWorkbook.Sheets
    If wm = ws.Name Then
        ws.Tab.Color = RGB(237, 87, 60)
        MsgBox "Color Applied"
        Exit Sub
    End If
Next ws
MsgBox "No Sheet Found."
End Sub

Using a code can save you time if you want to add color to all the sheets you have in the workbook.

When you run this code, it will ask you to enter the sheet name in the input box. And once you enter the sheet name it will apply color to that sheet tab.


You can change the color by changing the RGB color code.



  • When you add a new worksheet, you need to add a background color. There’s no way to have a sheet tab with a background tab color when adding it.
  • To add the same tab color to multiple sheets at once you group them and use the same steps that we have discussed above.
Last Updated: August 02, 2023