Defining color by value in scatter or bubble charts

In a scatter or bubble chart you can specify that data points or bubbles appear in different colors that are based on an additional measure or fact. The color of the points or bubbles helps you to see relationships in large amounts of data.

For example, the following bubble chart shows the relationship between the unit cost and unit sale price. The size of the bubbles shows the gross profit and the color of the bubbles shows whether the quantity sold is above (yellow) or below (green) 1,000,000 units.

Figure 1. Example of a bubble chart that shows values in different colors
bubble chart with color by value specified

In a bubble chart, you can combine the color by value and bubble size to create a more meaningful chart.


  1. Drag a measure to the Color drop zone under Measures and then select the measure.
  2. In the Properties pane, under Color & Background, double-click the Color by Value property.
  3. To define the colors by percentages instead of actual values, select the Percentage check box.

    For example, if you select the Percentage check box and your values range from 25 (red) to 50 (green), the bottom 25 percent of values are red and the top 50 percent of values are green. The values between 25 percent and 50 percent are an interpolated color, such as yellow.

  4. If you want to use a preset color palette, click Palette, and select the palette that you want to use.
  5. If you want to customize a palette color or boundary value, select the palette entry in the Palette box and specify the color, transparency, and type a new boundary value.
  6. To add a palette entry, select the palette entry below which you want to add the new entry, click the new palette entry icon new icon, and click Color.
  7. If your chart has lines or markers, under Style, set the marker shape, line style, and line weight.
  8. To choose a color and transparency for missing or null values, under Missing Values, click Color and type a value in the Transparency box.