Creating a global color palette

Applies to version 11.1.0 and subsequent versions unless overridden Administrators can create global color palettes that are available to report, dashboard, and story authors.

About this task

You can create the following types of color palettes:
Used for visualizations that support discrete colors, like a bar or pie chart.
Used for visualizations that support color transitions, like a map or a heat map.
Some visualizations support both types of color palettes. For example, if you drop a measure on to the color slot of a bar chart, you can add a color gradient to the bars for that measure. The following visualizations support both types of color palettes:
  • Bar, floating bar, stacked bar
  • Floating column, stacked column
  • Bubble, packed bubble, hierarchical packed bubble
  • Marimekko
  • Radial
  • Scatter plot
  • Tree map
Color palettes are grouped into the following categories:
Created by a user (report, dashboard, or story author). Available only to the user who created them. For more information about custom palettes, see Creating a color palette.
Created by the system administrator. A global palette is available to all users but only an administrator can modify it. A user can duplicate a global palette and then modify the duplicated version.
Default palettes available in IBM® Cognos Analytics. A system palette can't be changed but a user can duplicate it and then modify the duplicated version.


  1. Click Manage > Customization, and then select the Palettes tab.
  2. Click Create a custom palette create a custom palette.

    The Create categorical color palette window opens.

  3. To create a continuous color palette, click Continuous palette continous palette icon.
  4. Enter a name for your palette.
  5. Click the Grid or Wheel tab.
    In the Grid tab, you can select colors from a grid of color swatches. In the Wheel tab, you can select a color by doing one of the following things:
    • Clicking the color wheel
    • Typing the color in HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) or RGB (red, green, blue) notation
    • Typing the color in hex code
  6. Under Color guide, click Automatic or Custom.
    Categorical color palette
    Contains a set of swatches. In Automatic, when you select a color from the grid or wheel, all swatches in the palette are filled with colors that are related to the color you selected, starting from the currently selected swatch. In Custom, you must select each swatch and then select a color for it.
    Continuous color palette
    Contains one continuous swatch. In Custom, when you select a color from the grid or wheel, the swatch is filled with the color you selected. The color gradually increases in intensity from one end of the swatch to the other. Automatic is not available for a continuous color palette.
  7. To undo a selection, click Remove swatch remove swatch icon.
  8. To add more swatches to the palette, click Add swatch add swatch icon.
  9. To reverse the colors in the palette, click Reverse palette reverse palette icon.
  10. Click Save when you are finished.


The color palette appears under Global and is available to all report, dashboard, and story authors.