At long last, Office will let us enter web #Hex color codes in addition to RGB or HSL options in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Project, Publisher and Visio in Office 365.
Hex color codes are commonly used on web sites but, until now, you had to convert Hex to RGB for use in Office documents. Office-Watch.com already gives Hex equivalents for colors, for example our annual look at the Pantone Color of the Year and using it in Office documents.
Now the Hex value appears in the Colors | Custom dialog. Enter either a RGB, HSL or Hex value; the other equivalents will appear automatically.
That applies wherever the color selector appears, for fonts, images, borders, shapes, icons etc.
What are Hex colors?
‘Hex’ means Hexadecimal or base 16. The color codes are six characters long using 0 – 9 plus A-F.
Green is #008000 Blue #0000ff Silver #c0c0c0 .
They are usually prefixed with a # to distinguish them from other color codings.
Short Hex codes supported
Hex codes with repeating characters can be abbreviated to three characters, #ffcc00 can become #fc0 .
Short, 3 character Hex codes can be typed into the Hex field. Office will convert them into full 6 character Hex codes.
Named Hex codes not supported
Web designers know that Hex codes can be given special names. There are 16 named ex colors like #Aqua #Navy etc.
These codes are NOT supported in Office. That’s a pity since there are only sixteen possibilities. It would have been comprehensive and convenient to convert the named color into full Hex code, similar to what happens with short hex codes.
Overall example: #Red , #f00 and #ff0000 are the same color but only the last two are accepted by Office.
Hex color codes are in Office 365 for Windows v2003 build 12615.20000 (Insiders) and should roll out to the public soon.
Mac users can have a little laugh. Office for Mac already has Hex code support on the Color Sliders tab. In fact, Office for Mac has much better color selection options because it uses the powerful color selection tools in MacOS.