I am trying to ensure that each bar in a horizontal bar chart in Google Sheets has its own unique color. Conventional wisdom seems to entail either

  1. select the chart --> left-click on the bar -->right click bar to change color --> select desired color from drop-down Format data point OR
  2. select the chart --> right-click chart --> select Chart style --> navigate to Series in the style menu that appears on the right-hand side of the screen --> add data points that you desire to color --> change color individually.

The problem is that following either of these methods fails to allow me to change the colors independently. After changing the color of the first bar everything seems to be fine. But then, changing a second, leads to a bizarre behavior (e.g. changes the selected bar to the new color but forces the original back to the default). Obviously, I fail to understand something very fundamental here.

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  • docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/… Jul 24, 2019 at 21:50
  • indeed. this could be perhaps done with a script to force the color for each bar. looks like colors in bar chart are very buggy atm
    – user0
    Jul 24, 2019 at 22:45
  • We are chalking it up to bugs? That is unconscionable on the part of Google. This is such incredibly basic functionality... Ah well. Thankfully I'm not afraid of scripts Jul 24, 2019 at 22:50

1 Answer 1


It is not a bug, rather some confusion about the right method


select the chart --> right-click chart --> select Chart style --> navigate to "Series"

If instead of

Format data point->Add

you navigate to

Format -> Color

you can change the color for the active bar. Subsequently, you cycle through all the bars - each bar corresponding to a data series.

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