I've been using ColorTool (based on supreme ColorBrewer) for most of my mapping needs in ArcMap. After migrating to ArcGIS 10 I discovered that it will no longer be a case.

Are there any other options to include ColorBrewer palettes in ArcGIS 10?

  • 1
    There was recently a blog post by the ESRI mapping center on Color tools in general that may be of interest, goo.gl/475oV . Although hopefully celenius's workaround will suffice, I don't doubt one could save a few custom formats to suffice most needs.
    – Andy W
    Commented Feb 23, 2011 at 19:17
  • neither of these solutions works.
    – user18361
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 14:52
  • 1
    There is a working link for the ArcGIS Colorbrewer style in this question: gis.stackexchange.com/questions/225890/…
    – Albert
    Commented Jan 26, 2017 at 13:24

6 Answers 6


If you only need color scheme of ColorBrewer, http://arcscripts.esri.com/details.asp?dbid=14403 is a workaround while waiting for new update of ColorTool.

  • 1
    Excellent - exactly what I needed :]
    – user173
    Commented Feb 24, 2011 at 10:59
  • 1
    The link is not working as at 9/1/2018 and the new branded codesharing.arcgis.com does not have it (as far as my patience allows).
    – fatih_dur
    Commented Jan 9, 2018 at 1:39

Here is Nice information about it. http://gis-techniques.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-get-color-brewer-ramp-in-arcmap.html


National Cancer Institute have not updated the excellent ColorTool for ArcGIS to ArcMap 10 yet:suggest that an email request sent to the ColorTool Technical Support: [email protected]



From a previous comment I made: I emailed the developers (gis.cancer.gov/tools/colortool) and received the response: "The current installer does not fully succeed in ArcMap 10 environments, however you can manually add the "ColorToolPro9_2.0.tlb" from the installation location (usually c:\program files\NCI GIS Tools\colortool) to add the command to a toolbar. " Which I suppose is a satisfactory workaround.

  • Hi, I tried VietTanh Le's approach but I want this toolbar to work to avoid cluttering of color maps. Did this work for you? I went to Cutomize->Toolbars and then "add from file" and it says ColorTool9 NC_Toolbar are added but I couldnt find it in either of toolbar list or command list Commented Jan 1, 2012 at 1:03
  • 1
    This thread is a bit old but I encountered the same result. "Add from file", window popped up saying toolbar had been loaded but was unable to find it in list of toolbars or commands.
    – Kstoney
    Commented Apr 9, 2013 at 19:18

All the links from the previous answers did not work anymore (at least for me) as of Nov 2019. The ColorBrewer.style file for ArcGIS 10.xxx can be downloaded from here.

Copy the .style file to C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcGIS\Desktop10.6\Styles (for ArcGIS 10.6). Then add any shapefile to a blank ArcMap document.

  • Double click on the layer, go to Symbology tab.
  • Choose Features > Single symbol.
  • Click on the Symbol box. in the Symbol Selector window, click on Style References.
  • Scroll down to find and check the box next to ColorBrewer. Click on Set as Default List too.
  • Donezo !

Example showing ColorBrewer palettes in ArcGIS

Reference: Importing ColorBrewer Style Ramps into ArcMap


If you're not completely wedded to ArcGIS, QGIS has really nice custom color ramp capabilities for both vector and raster.

Useful info:




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