How to Special Color Palettes

Published on Friday, April 20, 2018 by Milos Gregor

An important part of the add-in functionality is the visualization of excel data on maps. At work with the GIS.XL add-in you can create a visualization where continuous or categorical variables are encoded to polygon (or line, or point) color. In the base version, the add-in allows you to use only simple color palettes (two-color palette and rainbow palette). Since 2.0 version has been added support for 54 new special color palettes.

Application options of special color palettes are displayed in the following video-tutorial.

As you can see from the video-tutorial, your data are encoded to the color property in the same way as in previous versions. All 54 color palettes are divided into two basic groups - continuous and brewer palettes.

Continuous palettes are practical to apply to continuous numerical variables. You can choose from 19 palettes that are most commonly used in GIS visualization, e.g. rainbow, no_green, relief or topo palette.

Conversely, Brewer palettes are rather intended for categorical variables. Their definition can be found at On this page, you can test them in an interactive app. In general, we can divide them into three groups. These groups are defined by the nature of your data - sequential, diverging and qualitative color palettes.

They are applicable to a small number of categories. For each palette, the range of optimal categories number is listed in parentheses. Usually it’s a 3 to 9 categories. If you apply selected brewer palette to a larger number of categories, individual palette colors will automatically be interpolated.

The use of special color palettes is in GIS.XL add-in simple and fast. If you want to try this feature, you can do it also in the Demo version, where special palettes are fully functional.