Rick wrote about a problem he was having when viewing cells that have a fill color. It seems that the color doesn't show up on the display, but it does show up when he prints the worksheet.
This problem is most likely related to the settings in Windows, not in Excel. Follow these general steps:
The fill colors should now be visible in the worksheet. They were "hidden" to make viewing data easier for those with certain types of visual limitations. This problem is detailed in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
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Comments for this tip:
vagabohn 22 Sep 2016, 15:50
This info appears not to work on Windows 10, any other idea's?
Fleur (UK) 12 Sep 2016, 07:44
FILL COLOUR DOESN'T DISPLAY (EXCEL)
Thank you so much, this sorted out the problem. I had to attack it in a different way because I have more recent software than the description/screenshot you show.
Lizzy 30 Aug 2016, 10:42
Problem solved !! Thank you !!
Pete Lindner 10 Jul 2016, 13:18
The <alt> <left-shift> <print-screen> did NOT work. But then I found out that I had to enable that to work in my accessibility options:
A) go to accessibility options,
B) choose "set up high contrast",
C) click the box under "Choose a High Contrast Theme" that says "Turn on or off High Contrast when left ALT + left SHIFT + PRINT SCREEN is pressed.
And after it is applied, you can use "<alt> <left-shift> <print-screen>" to restore shading of yellow to Excel
Lakshmikant Jugdar 21 Jun 2016, 05:51
Thank you SO much! I have been suffering with this problem for years! No one could figure it out.
Ferdous 14 May 2016, 23:15
My Excel sheet has background color but when I convert it to pdf I find no background color in PDF. Is there any solution to solve that.
Sheila 08 Mar 2016, 16:21
Thank you SO much! I have been suffering with this problem for years! No one could figure it out. I reinstalled the software numerous times; I checked forums; I asked 'experts.' All with no results. I can't believe this is finally corrected!
Heather Clegg 05 Jan 2016, 13:30
version 2007. Excel. All of a sudden it wont display or print red. When you go to the color selection, red is greyed out. It says "color scheme" instead of red. all the other colors work.
JIM 03 Jan 2016, 20:39
Great advise regarding my color/highlight issues. I have been limited for years and really need this feature to work for a particular Excel sheet. Thanks for your help.
Steve 07 Oct 2015, 13:36
I have the same problem with office2013 requiring 2 clicks to do any fill color in a cell.
Does anyone have a solution to require only 1 click like previous versions of excel.
Steve 07 Oct 2015, 13:32
Have you tried setting the Excel advanced -> print option to set "High quality mode for graphics"
See options, advanced menu
Glen Campey 18 Sep 2015, 10:30
I've been having this problem this afternoon, and it wasn't to do with Windows settings (I could still see the colours everywhere else). If you're having the same issue, try checking that you hadn't set up the cells in question with 'no fill' - this will override any conditional formatting fill rules that you try.
I'm kicking myself that it was this simple...
Mark 20 May 2015, 12:05
The solution from
Deena 04 Nov 2014, 18:30
worked for me. The high contrast theme did not allow font colors of cell fills to be seen in Excel
Nancy 16 May 2015, 07:53
Thanks, Deena, for the detailed steps. They worked for me!
Lj 20 Apr 2015, 09:17
With windows 7 turning it off in control panel didn't work but the
LEFT Alt/Shift/Prt Screen worked for me.
Larry Handeland 02 Apr 2015, 11:45
I have the same problem with Excel Cell colors not showing up in my display, even after I turned off Hi-contrast. Everything prints ok with color in the cells. I have windows 8.1 and am running Excel 2010. Thanks.
danniel 01 Apr 2015, 06:14
Thanks, you cure my suffer of weeks.
Larry 22 Feb 2015, 15:42
On my Windows 8.1, Bayhill's suggestion "PRESS "ALT" + "SHIFT" + "PRSCN" " works but that essentially just turns off any high contrast theme, same as selecting 'none' in the "Ease of Access" High Contrast settings. Thanks for this. But Shame on Microsoft for not allowing Office to work with a high contrast theme and not telling us.
am 26 Dec 2014, 23:46
Deena 04 Nov 2014, 18:30
I have worked on this for days. Finally this worked for me:
1. Go to: Ease of Access Center (for accessibility options) Note 1
2. LEFT Alt/Shift/Prt Screen
3. Click on 'Choose a High Contrast Theme' (line no. 4)
4. Click on Windows 7
5. Scroll down to 'Windows Classic"
6. Click on APPLY/OK and exit/close/X Ease of Access Center
Note 1: Click START; in bottom, blank box type in .... Ease of Access Center
Puja 02 Nov 2014, 07:52
It was helpful. thanx :)
BAYHILL@COX.NET 30 Aug 2014, 14:27
REGARDING TURNING OFF THE HIGH CONTRAST. IN WINDOWS 8, I TRIED THAT, DIDN'T WORK. IT SAYS UNCHECKING THE BOX TURNS OF THE KEY COMMAND, NOT THE HIGH CONTRAST. IN WIN 8, MAYBE OTHERS, LEAVE IT CHECKED, JUST GO TO THE WORKBOOK, HI LIGHT THE ENTIRE CONTENTS OF THE FILE, PRESS "ALT" + "SHIFT" + "PRSCN" (OR "PRINT SCREEN" DEPENDING ON YOUR KEY BOARD.
THAT WORKED FOR ME. THEN, THERE WERE ALL KINDS OF COLORS SINCE I HAD BEEN TRYING TO GET FILL TO WORK IN MANY DIFFERENT BOXES. SELECT ALL, GO TO FILL, "NO FILL", ALL FILL COLORS SHOULD DISAPPEAR, SAVE, DO WHAT YOU NEED.
Kerry 11 Jun 2014, 09:08
When I select cells and try to fill them with a colour, they do not change colour on screen until I have pressed the 'fill' box at least twice, sometimes more. Is this an excel settings/ windows 8 setting or possibly a fault with Office 2013?
Alejandro Ortiz 18 Mar 2014, 11:59
Excel Cell colors don't show up in my display, even after I turned off Hi-contrast. Also, I checked that there are no conditional formatting rules present. I have windows 8. Thanks.
Francois Erling 21 Jul 2013, 12:49
Thank you very much! It was most helpfull, chapeau!