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How to Identify a Custom Font Color in MS Word

Microsoft Word’s font color selector comes preloaded with some common colors for quick font customizations. These are the standard colors, which includes the automatic black, various gray hues and the usual rainbow colors — blue, yellow, green etc.

These standard colors suffice for most use however sometimes you may encounter a document that is using a color that is not in the standard palette. This is an example of a custom color that is selected from the color picker or have its RGB/HSL values defined manually.

Word however doesn’t reveal the color picker in the font color drop-down when text with a custom color is selected. Some additional steps are required to reveal the color’s details, and this is where some people get lost.

Here’s how to identify the color and reuse it if need be.


  1. Select the text with the custom color or just put the cursor within the text.
  2. Go to the Font color dropdown menu in the Home tab and click the More colors… option.
  3. That will open the color palette window with the custom tab opened.
  4. Below the palette you can view the RGB (Red, Blue and Green) values of the custom color. These three numbers are the unique values that identify the custom color. You can also switch the color model to view the HSL (Hue, Saturation & Luminance) values.
  5. If you need to use the color in that current document, just click OK to close the window and the color will automatically be included in the Recent colors section of the font color menu. The color will be available there for the current session, including other documents you open or create during that session.
  6. Once you exit Word, however, the recent colors section will be cleared. Consequently, if you need to use the color in another document at a later time, make sure you save the RGB values somewhere so that you can define the font color when needed.

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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is a writer that's passionate about sharing solutions to everyday tech problems. He's the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to leave him comments or questions regarding this post, or by leaving him a message on the contact page. If you found his content helpful, a donation is much appreciated.