Use conditional formatting to highlight information (2023)

Use conditional formatting to highlight information (1)

Conditional formatting typically works the same way in a range of cells, an Excel table, or a PivotTable report. However, conditional formatting in a PivotTable report has some extra considerations:

  • There are some conditional formats that don't work with fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report. For example, you can't format such fields based on whether they contain unique or duplicate values. These restrictions are mentioned in the remaining sections of this article, where applicable.

  • If you change the layout of the PivotTable report by filtering, hiding levels, collapsing and expanding levels, or moving a field, the conditional format is maintained as long as the fields in the underlying data are not removed.

  • The scope of the conditional format for fields in the Values area can be based on the data hierarchy and is determined by all the visible children (the next lower level in a hierarchy) of a parent (the next higher level in a hierarchy) on rows for one or more columns, or columns for one or more rows.

    Note:In the data hierarchy, children do not inherit conditional formatting from the parent, and the parent does not inherit conditional formatting from the children.

  • There are three methods for scoping the conditional format of fields in the Values area: by selection, by corresponding field, and by value field.

The default method of scoping fields in the Values area is by selection. You can change the scoping method to the corresponding field or value field by using the Apply formatting rule to option button, the New Formatting Rule dialog box, or the Edit Formatting Rule dialog box.

Method

Use this method if you want to select

Scoping by selection

  • A contiguous set of fields in the Values area, such as all of the product totals for one region.

  • A non-contiguous set of fields in the Values area, such as product totals for different regions across levels in the data hierarchy.

Scoping by value field

  • Avoid making many non-contiguous selections.

  • Conditionally format a set of fields in the Values area for all levels in the hierarchy of data.

  • Include subtotals and grand totals.

Scoping by corresponding field

  • Avoid making many non-contiguous selections.

  • Conditionally format a set of fields in the Values area for one level in the hierarchy of data.

  • Exclude subtotals.

When you conditionally format fields in the Values area for top, bottom, above average, or below average values, the rule is based on all visible values by default. However, when you scope by corresponding field, instead of using all visible values, you can apply the conditional format for each combination of:

  • A column and its parent row field.

  • A row and its parent column field.

Note:Quick Analysis is not available in Excel 2010 and previous versions.

Use the Quick Analysis button Use conditional formatting to highlight information (2) to apply selected conditional formatting to the selected data. The Quick Analysis button appears automatically when you select data.

  1. Select the data that you want to conditionally format. The Quick Analysis button appears on the lower-right corner of the selection.

    Use conditional formatting to highlight information (3)

  2. Click the Quick Analysis button Use conditional formatting to highlight information (4), or press Ctrl+Q.

  3. In the pop-up that appears, on the Formatting tab, move your mouse over the different options to see a Live Preview on your data, and then click on the formatting option you want.

    Use conditional formatting to highlight information (5)

    Notes:

    • The formatting options that appear in the Formatting tab depend on the data you have selected. If your selection contains only text, then the available options are Text, Duplicate, Unique, Equal To, and Clear. When the selection contains only numbers, or both text and numbers, then the options are Data Bars, Colors, Icon Sets, Greater, Top 10%, and Clear.

    • Live preview will only render for those formatting options that can be used on your data. For example, if your selected cells don't contain matching data and you select Duplicate, the live preview will not work.

  4. If the Text that Contains dialog box appears, enter the formatting option you want to apply and click OK.

If you'd like to watch a video that shows how to use Quick Analysis to apply conditional formatting, see Video: Use conditional formatting.

You can download a sample workbook that contains different examples of applying conditional formatting, both with standard rules such as top and bottom, duplicates, Data Bars, Icon Sets and Color Scales, as well as manually creating rules of your own.

Download: Conditional formatting examples in Excel

Color scales are visual guides that help you understand data distribution and variation. A two-color scale helps you compare a range of cells by using a gradation of two colors. The shade of the color represents higher or lower values. For example, in a green and yellow color scale, as shown below, you can specify that higher value cells have a more green color and lower value cells have a more yellow color.

Tip:You can sort cells that have this format by their color - just use the context menu.

Use conditional formatting to highlight information (6)

Tip:If any cells in the selection contain a formula that returns an error, the conditional formatting is not applied to those cells. To ensure that the conditional formatting is applied to those cells, use an IS or IFERROR function to return a value other than an error value.

Quick formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Color Scales.

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  3. Select a two-color scale.

    Hover over the color scale icons to see which icon is a two-color scale. The top color represents higher values, and the bottom color represents lower values.

You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Formatting Options button that appears next to a PivotTable field that has conditional formatting applied.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a completely new conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicaterule appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Selected cells.

    • All cells for a Value label: Click All cells showing <Value label> values.

    • All cells for a Value label, excluding subtotals and the grand total: Click All cells showing <Value label> values for <Row Label>.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format all cells based on their values (default).

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format Style list box, select 2-Color Scale.

  7. To select a type in the Type box for Minimum and Maximum, do one of the following:

    • Format lowest and highest values: Select Lowest Value and Highest Value.

      In this case, you do not enter a Minimum and MaximumValue.

    • Format a number, date, or time value: Select Number and then enter a Minimum and MaximumValue.

    • Format a percentage Percent: Enter a Minimum and MaximumValue.

      Valid values are from 0 (zero) to 100. Don't enter a percent sign.

      Use a percentage when you want to visualize all values proportionally because the distribution of values is proportional.

    • Format a percentile:Select Percentile and then enter a Minimum and MaximumValue. Valid percentiles are from 0 (zero) to 100.

      Use a percentile when you want to visualize a group of high values (such as the top 20thpercentile) in one color grade proportion and low values (such as the bottom 20th percentile) in another color grade proportion, because they represent extreme values that might skew the visualization of your data.

    • Format a formula result:Select Formula and then enter values for Minimum and Maximum.

      • The formula must return a number, date, or time value.

      • Start the formula with an equal sign (=).

      • Invalid formulas result in no formatting being applied.

      • It's a good idea to test the formula to make sure that it doesn't return an error value.

        Notes:

        • Make sure that the Minimum value is less than the Maximum value.

        • You can choose a different type for the Minimum and Maximum. For example, you can choose a number for Minimum a percentage for Maximum.

  8. To choose a Minimum and Maximum color scale, click Color for each, and then select a color.

    If you want to choose additional colors or create a custom color, click More Colors. The color scale you select is shown in the Preview box.

Color scales are visual guides that help you understand data distribution and variation. A three-color scale helps you compare a range of cells by using a gradation of three colors. The shade of the color represents higher, middle, or lower values. For example, in a green, yellow, and red color scale, you can specify that higher value cells have a green color, middle value cells have a yellow color, and lower value cells have a red color.

Tip:You can sort cells that have this format by their color - just use the context menu.

Quick formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Color Scales.

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  3. Select a three-color scale. The top color represents higher values, the center color represents middle values, and the bottom color represents lower values.

    Hover over the color scale icons to see which icon is a three-color scale.

You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Formatting Options button that appears next to a PivotTable field that has conditional formatting applied..

Advanced formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a new conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Just these cells.

    • Corresponding field: Click All <value field> cells with the same fields.

    • Value field: Click All <value field> cells.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format all cells based on their values.

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format Style list box, select 3-Color Scale.

  7. Select a type for Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum. Do one of the following:

    • Format lowest and highest values: Select a Midpoint.

      In this case, you do not enter a Lowest and HighestValue.

    • Format a number, date, or time value:Select Number and then enter a value for Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum.

    • Format a percentage:Select Percent and then enter a value for Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum. Valid values are from 0 (zero) to 100. Do not enter a percent (%) sign.

      Use a percentage when you want to visualize all values proportionally, because using a percentage ensures that the distribution of values is proportional.

    • Format a percentile:Select Percentile and then enter a value for Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum.

      Valid percentiles are from 0 (zero) to 100.

      Use a percentile when you want to visualize a group of high values (such as the top 20th percentile) in one color grade proportion and low values (such as the bottom 20th percentile) in another color grade proportion, because they represent extreme values that might skew the visualization of your data.

    • Format a formula result:Select Formula and then enter a value for Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum.

      The formula must return a number, date, or time value. Start the formula with an equal sign (=). Invalid formulas result in no formatting being applied. It's a good idea to test the formula to make sure that it doesn't return an error value.

      Notes:

      • You can set minimum, midpoint, and maximum values for the range of cells. Make sure that the value in Minimum is less than the value in Midpoint, which in turn is less than the value in Maximum.

      • You can choose a different type for Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum. For example, you can choose a Minimum number, Midpoint percentile, and Maximum percent.

      • In many cases, the default Midpoint value of 50 percent works best, but you can adjust this to fit unique requirements.

  8. To choose a Minimum, Midpoint, and Maximum color scale, click Color for each, and then select a color.

    • To choose additional colors or create a custom color, click More Colors.

    • The color scale you select is shown in the Preview box.

A data bar helps you see the value of a cell relative to other cells. The length of the data bar represents the value in the cell. A longer bar represents a higher value, and a shorter bar represents a lower value. Data bars are useful in spotting higher and lower numbers, especially with large amounts of data, such as top selling and bottom selling toys in a holiday sales report.

The example shown here uses data bars to highlight dramatic positive and negative values. You can format data bars so that the data bar starts in the middle of the cell, and stretches to the left for negative values.

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Tip:If any cells in the range contain a formula that returns an error, the conditional formatting is not applied to those cells. To ensure that the conditional formatting is applied to those cells, use an IS or IFERROR function to return a value (such as 0 or "N/A") instead of an error value.

Quick formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, click Data Bars, and then select a data bar icon.

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You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Apply formatting rule to option button.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

    Use conditional formatting to highlight information (13)

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Just these cells.

    • Corresponding field: Click All <value field> cells with the same fields.

    • Value field: Click All <value field> cells.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format all cells based on their values.

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format Style list box, select Data Bar.

  7. Select a Minimum and MaximumType. Do one of the following:

    • Format lowest and highest values:Select Lowest Value and Highest Value.

      In this case, you do not enter a value for Minimum and Maximum.

    • Format a number, date, or time value:Select Number and then enter a Minimum and MaximumValue.

    • Format a percentage:Select Percent and then enter a value for Minimum and Maximum.

      Valid values are from 0 (zero) to 100. Do not enter a percent (%) sign.

      Use a percentage when you want to visualize all values proportionally, because using a percentage ensures that the distribution of values is proportional.

    • Format a percentileSelect Percentile and then enter a value for Minimum and Maximum.

      Valid percentiles are from 0 (zero) to 100.

      Use a percentile when you want to visualize a group of high values (such as the top 20th percentile) in one data bar proportion and low values (such as the bottom 20th percentile) in another data bar proportion, because they represent extreme values that might skew the visualization of your data.

    • Format a formula result Select Formula, and then enter a value for Minimum and Maximum.

      • The formula has to return a number, date, or time value.

      • Start the formula with an equal sign (=).

      • Invalid formulas result in no formatting being applied.

      • It's a good idea to test the formula to make sure that it doesn't return an error value.

    Notes:

    • Make sure that the Minimum value is less than the Maximum value.

    • You can choose a different type for Minimum and Maximum. For example, you can choose a Minimum number and a Maximum percent.

  8. To choose a Minimum and Maximum color scale, click Bar Color.

    If you want to choose additional colors or create a custom color, click More Colors. The bar color you select is shown in the Preview box.

  9. To show only the data bar and not the value in the cell, select Show Bar Only.

  10. To apply a solid border to data bars, select Solid Border in the Border list box and choose a color for the border.

  11. To choose between a solid bar and a gradiated bar, choose Solid Fill or Gradient Fill in the Fill list box.

  12. To format negative bars, click Negative Value and Axis and then, in the Negative Value and Axis Settings dialog box, choose options for the negative bar fill and border colors. You can choose position settings and a color for the axis. When you are finished selecting options, click OK.

  13. You can change the direction of bars by choosing a setting in the Bar Direction list box. This is set to Context by default, but you can choose between a left-to-right and a right-to-left direction, depending on how you want to present your data.

(Video) Conditional Formatting in Excel Tutorial

Use an icon set to annotate and classify data into three to five categories separated by a threshold value. Each icon represents a range of values. For example, in the 3 Arrows icon set, the green up arrow represents higher values, the yellow sideways arrow represents middle values, and the red down arrow represents lower values.

Tip:You can sort cells that have this format by their icon - just use the context menu.

The example shown here works with several examples of conditional formatting icon sets.

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You can choose to show icons only for cells that meet a condition; for example, displaying a warning icon for those cells that fall below a critical value and no icons for those that exceed it. To do this, you hide icons by selecting No Cell Icon from the icon drop-down list next to the icon when you are setting conditions. You can also create your own combination of icon sets; for example, a green "symbol" check mark, a yellow "traffic light", and a red "flag."

Tip:If any cells in the selection contain a formula that returns an error, the conditional formatting is not applied to those cells. To ensure that the conditional formatting is applied to those cells, use an IS or IFERROR function to return a value (such as 0 or "N/A") instead of an error value.

Quick formatting

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, click Icon Set, and then select an icon set.

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You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Apply formatting rule to option button.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

    Use conditional formatting to highlight information (16)

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Just these cells.

    • Corresponding field: Click All <value field> cells with the same fields.

    • Value field: Click All <value field> cells.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format all cells based on their values.

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format Style list box, select Icon Set.

    1. Select an icon set. The default is 3 Traffic Lights (Unrimmed). The number of icons and the default comparison operators and threshold values for each icon can vary for each icon set.

    2. You can adjust the comparison operators and threshold values. The default range of values for each icon are equal in size, but you can adjust these to fit your unique requirements. Make sure that the thresholds are in a logical sequence of highest to lowest from top to bottom.

    3. Do one of the following:

      • Format a number, date, or time value:Select Number.

      • Format a percentage:Select Percent.

        Valid values are from 0 (zero) to 100. Do not enter a percent (%) sign.

        Use a percentage when you want to visualize all values proportionally, because using a percentage ensures that the distribution of values is proportional.

      • Format a percentile:Select Percentile. Valid percentiles are from 0 (zero) to 100.

        Use a percentile when you want to visualize a group of high values (such as the top 20th percentile) using a particular icon and low values (such as the bottom 20th percentile) using another icon, because they represent extreme values that might skew the visualization of your data.

      • Format a formula result:Select Formula, and then enter a formula in each Value box.

        • The formula must return a number, date, or time value.

        • Start the formula with an equal sign (=).

        • Invalid formulas result in no formatting being applied.

        • It's a good idea to test the formula to make sure that it doesn't return an error value.

    4. To make the first icon represent lower values and the last icon represent higher values, select Reverse Icon Order.

    5. To show only the icon and not the value in the cell, select Show Icon Only.

      Notes:

      • You may need to adjust the column width to accommodate the icon.

      • The size of the icon shown depends on the font size that is used in that cell. As the size of the font is increased, the size of the icon increases proportionally.

To more easily find specific cells, you can format them by using a comparison operator. For example, in an inventory worksheet sorted by categories, you could highlight products with fewer than 10 items on hand in yellow. Or, in a retail store summary worksheet, you might identify all stores with profits greater than 10%, sales volumes less than $100,000, and region equal to "SouthEast."

The examples shown here work with examples of built-in conditional formatting criteria, such as Greater Than, and Top %. This formats cities with a population greater than 2,000,000 with a green background and average high temperatures in the top 30% with orange.

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Note:You cannot conditionally format fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by text or by date, only by number.

Quick formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Highlight Cells Rules.

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  3. Select the command you want, such as Between, Equal To Text that Contains, or A Date Occurring.

  4. Enter the values you want to use, and then select a format.

You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Apply formatting rule to option button.

If you'd like to watch videos of these techniques, see Video: Conditionally format text and Video: Conditionally format dates.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet or on other worksheets, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

        (Video) Use conditional formatting to highlight information

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Just these cells.

    • Corresponding field: Click All <value field> cells with the same fields.

    • Value field: Click All <value field> cells.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format only cells that contain.

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format only cells with list box, do one of the following:

    • Format by number, date, or time: Select Cell Value, select a comparison operator, and then enter a number, date, or time.

      For example, select Between and then enter 100 and 200, or select Equal to and then enter 1/1/2009.

      You can also enter a formula that returns a number, date, or time value.

      • If you enter a formula, start it with an equal sign (=).

      • Invalid formulas result in no formatting being applied.

      • It's a good idea to test the formula to make sure that it doesn't return an error value.

    • Format by text:Select Specific Text, choosing a comparison operator, and then enter text.

      For example, select Contains and then enter Silver, or select Starting with and then enter Tri.

      Quotes are included in the search string, and you may use wildcard characters. The maximum length of a string is 255 characters.

      You can also enter a formula that returns text.

      • If you enter a formula, start it with an equal sign (=).

      • Invalid formulas result in no formatting being applied.

      • It's a good idea to test the formula to make sure that it doesn't return an error value.

      To see a video of this technique, see Video: Conditionally format text.

    • Format by date:Select Dates Occurring and then select a date comparison.

      For example, select Yesterday or Next week.

      To see a video of this technique, see Video: Conditionally format dates.

    • Format cells with blanks or no blanks:Select Blanks or No Blanks.

      A blank value is a cell that contains no data and is different from a cell that contains one or more spaces (spaces are considered as text).

    • Format cells with error or no error values:Select Errors or No Errors.

      Error values include: #####, #VALUE!, #DIV/0!, #NAME?, #N/A, #REF!, #NUM!, and #NULL!.

  7. To specify a format, click Format. The Format Cells dialog box appears.

  8. Select the number, font, border, or fill format you want to apply when the cell value meets the condition, and then click OK.

    You can choose more than one format. The formats you select are shown in the Preview box.

You can find the highest and lowest values in a range of cells that are based on a cutoff value you specify. For example, you can find the top 5 selling products in a regional report, the bottom 15% products in a customer survey, or the top 25 salaries in a department .

Quick formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Top/Bottom Rules.

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  3. Select the command you want, such as Top 10 items or Bottom 10 %.

  4. Enter the values you want to use, and then select a format.

You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Apply formatting rule to option button.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

    Use conditional formatting to highlight information (21)

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Just these cells.

    • Corresponding field: Click All <value field> cells with the same fields.

    • Value field: Click All <value field> cells.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format only top or bottom ranked values.

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format values that rank in the list box, select Top or Bottom.

  7. Do one of the following:

    • To specify a top or bottom number, enter a number and then clear the % of the selected range box. Valid values are 1 to 1000.

    • To specify a top or bottom percentage, enter a number and then select the % of the selected range box. Valid values are 1 to 100.

  8. Optionally, change how the format is applied for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report that are scoped by corresponding field.

    By default, the conditional format is based on all visible values. However when you scope by corresponding field, instead of using all visible values, you can apply the conditional format for each combination of:

    • A column and its parent row field, by selecting each Column group.

    • A row and its parent column field, by selecting each Row group.

  9. To specify a format, click Format. The Format Cells dialog box appears.

  10. Select the number, font, border, or fill format you want to apply when the cell value meets the condition, and then click OK.

    You can choose more than one format. The formats you select are shown in the Preview box.

You can find values above or below an average or standard deviation in a range of cells. For example, you can find the above average performers in an annual performance review or you can locate manufactured materials that fall below two standard deviations in a quality rating.

Quick formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Top/Bottom Rules.

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  3. Select the command you want, such as Above Average or Below Average.

  4. Enter the values you want to use, and then select a format.

You can change the method of scoping for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by using the Apply formatting rule to option button.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select one or more cells in a range, table, or PivotTable report.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by:

    • Selection: Click Just these cells.

    • Corresponding field: Click All <value field> cells with the same fields.

    • Value field: Click All <value field> cells.

  5. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format only values that are above or below average.

  6. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format values that are list box, do one of the following:

    • To format cells that are above or below the average for all of the cells in the range, select Above or Below.

    • To format cells that are above or below one, two, or three standard deviations for all of the cells in the range, select a standard deviation.

  7. Optionally, change how the format is applied for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report that are scoped by corresponding field.

    By default, the conditionally format is based on all visible values. However when you scope by corresponding field, instead of using all visible values, you can apply the conditional format for each combination of:

    • A column and its parent row field, by selecting each Column group.

    • A row and its parent column field, by selecting each Row group.

  8. Click Format to display the Format Cells dialog box.

  9. Select the number, font, border, or fill format you want to apply when the cell value meets the condition, and then click OK.

    You can choose more than one format. The formats you select are displayed in the Preview box.

Note:You can't conditionally format fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report by unique or duplicate values.

In the example shown here, conditional formatting is used on the Instructor column to find instructors that are teaching more than one class (duplicate instructor names are highlighted in a pale red color). Grade values that are found just once in the Grade column (unique values) are highlighted in a green color.

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Quick formatting

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Highlight Cells Rules.

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  3. Select Duplicate Values.

  4. Enter the values you want to use, and then select a format.

Advanced formatting

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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  3. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet or table is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet, and then by selecting Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  4. Under Select a Rule Type, click Format only unique or duplicate values.

  5. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format all list box, select unique or duplicate.

  6. Click Format to display the Format Cells dialog box.

    (Video) How To... Use Basic Conditional Formatting with an IF Statement in Excel 2010

  7. Select the number, font, border, or fill format you want to apply when the cell value meets the condition, and then click OK.

    You can choose more than one format. The formats you select are shown in the Preview box.

If none of the above options is what you’re looking for, you can create your own conditional formatting rule in a few simple steps.

Notes:If there's already a rule defined that you just want to work a bit differently, duplicate the rule and edit it.

  1. Select Home > Conditional Formatting > Manage Rules, then in the Conditional Formatting Rule Manager dialog, select a listed ruleand then select Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule then appears in the list.

  2. Select the duplicate rule, then select Edit Rule.

  1. Select the cells that you want to format.

  2. On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting > New Rule.

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  3. Create your rule and specify its format options, then click OK.

    If you don't see the options that you want, you can use a formula to determine which cells to format - see the next section for steps).

If you don't see the exact options you need when you create your own conditional formatting rule, you can use a logical formula to specify the formatting criteria. For example, you may want to compare values in a selection to a result returned by a function or evaluate data in cells outside the selected range, which can be in another worksheet in the same workbook. Your formula must return True or False (1 or 0), but you can use conditional logic to string together a set of corresponding conditional formats, such as different colors for each of a small set of text values (for example, product category names).

Note:You can enter cell references in a formula by selecting cells directly on a worksheet or other worksheets. Selecting cells on the worksheet inserts absolute cell references. If you want Excel to adjust the references for each cell in the selected range, use relative cell references. For more information, see Create or change a cell reference and Switch between relative, absolute, and mixed references.

Tip:If any cells contain a formula that returns an error, conditional formatting is not applied to those cells. To address this, use IS functions or an IFERROR function in your formula to return a value that you specify (such as 0, or "N/A") instead of an error value.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules.

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    The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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  2. Do one of the following:

    • To add a conditional format, click New Rule. The New Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To add a new conditional format based on one that is already listed, select the rule, then click Duplicate Rule. The duplicate rule is copied and appears in the dialog box. Select the duplicate, then select Edit Rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

    • To change a conditional format, do the following:

      1. Make sure that the appropriate worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected in the Show formatting rules for list box.

      2. Optionally, change the range of cells by clicking Collapse Dialog in the Applies to box to temporarily hide the dialog box, by selecting the new range of cells on the worksheet or other worksheets, and then by clicking Expand Dialog.

      3. Select the rule, and then click Edit rule. The Edit Formatting Rule dialog box appears.

  3. Under Apply Rule To, to optionally change the scope for fields in the Values area of a PivotTable report, do the following:

    • To scope by selection: Click Selected cells.

    • To scope by corresponding field: Click All cells showing <Values field> values.

    • To scope by Value field: Click All cells showing <Values field> for <Row>.

  4. Under Select a Rule Type, click Use a formula to determine which cells to format.

    1. Under Edit the Rule Description, in the Format values where this formula is true list box, enter a formula.

      You have to start the formula with an equal sign (=), and the formula must return a logical value of TRUE (1) or FALSE (0).

    2. Click Format to display the Format Cells dialog box.

    3. Select the number, font, border, or fill format you want to apply when the cell value meets the condition, and then click OK.

      You can choose more than one format. The formats you select are shown in the Preview box.

      Example 1: Use two conditional formats with criteria that uses AND and OR tests

      The following example shows the use of two conditional formatting rules. If the first rule doesn't apply, the second rule applies.

      First rule: a home buyer has budgeted up to $75,000 as a down payment and $1,500 per month as a mortgage payment. If both the down payment and the monthly payments fit these requirements, cells B4 and B5 are formatted green.

      Second rule: if either the down payment or the monthly payment doesn't meet the buyer's budget, B4 and B5 are formatted red. Change some values, such as the APR, the loan term, the down payment, and the purchase amount to see what happens with the conditionally formatted cells.

      Formula for first rule (applies green color)

      =AND(IF($B$4<=75000,1),IF(ABS($B$5)<=1500,1))

      Formula for second rule (applies red color)

      =OR(IF($B$4>=75000,1),IF(ABS($B$5)>=1500,1))

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      Example 2: Shade every other row by using the MOD and ROW functions

      A conditional format applied to every cell in this worksheet shades every other row in the range of cells with a blue cell color. You can select all cells in a worksheet by clicking the square above row 1 and to the left of column A. The MOD function returns a remainder after a number (the first argument) is divided by divisor (the second argument). The ROW function returns the current row number. When you divide the current row number by 2, you always get either a 0 remainder for an even number or a 1 remainder for an odd number. Because 0 is FALSE and 1 is TRUE, every odd numbered row is formatted. The rule uses this formula: =MOD(ROW(),2)=1.

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      Note:You can enter cell references in a formula by selecting cells directly on a worksheet or other worksheets. Selecting cells on the worksheet inserts absolute cell references. If you want Excel to adjust the references for each cell in the selected range, use relative cell references. For more information, see Create or change a cell reference and Switch between relative, absolute, and mixed references.

The following video shows you the basics of using formulas with conditional formatting.

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If you want to apply an existing formatting style to new or other data on your worksheet, you can use Format Painter to copy the conditional formatting to that data.

  1. Click the cell that has the conditional formatting that you want to copy.

  2. Click Home > Format Painter.

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    The pointer changes to a paintbrush.

    Tip:You can double-click Format Painter if you want to keep using the paintbrush to paste the conditional formatting in other cells.

  3. To paste the conditional formatting, drag the paintbrush across the cells or ranges of cells you want to format.

  4. To stop using the paintbrush, press Esc.

Note:If you’ve used a formula in the rule that applies the conditional formatting, you might have to adjust any cell references in the formula after pasting the conditional format. For more information, see Switch between relative, absolute, and mixed references.

If your worksheet contains conditional formatting, you can quickly locate the cells so that you can copy, change, or delete the conditional formats. Use the Go To Special command to find only cells with a specific conditional format, or to find all cells that have conditional formats.

Find all cells that have a conditional format

  1. Click any cell that does not have a conditional format.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the arrow next to Find & Select, and then click Conditional Formatting.

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Find only cells that have the same conditional format

  1. Click any cell that has the conditional format that you want to find.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the arrow next to Find & Select, and then click Go To Special.

  3. Click Conditional formats.

  4. Click Same under Data validation.

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When you use conditional formatting, you set up rules that Excel uses to determine when to apply the conditional formatting. To manage these rules, you should understand the order in which these rules are evaluated, what happens when two or more rules conflict, how copying and pasting can affect rule evaluation, how to change the order in which rules are evaluated, and when to stop rule evaluation.

  • Learn about conditional formatting rule precedence

    You create, edit, delete, and view all conditional formatting rules in the workbook by using the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box. (On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules.)

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    The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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    When two or more conditional formatting rules apply, these rules are evaluated in order of precedence (top to bottom) by how they are listed in this dialog box.

    Here's an example that has expiration dates for ID badges. We want to mark badges that expire within 60 days but are not yet expired with a yellow background color, and expired badges with a red background color.

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    In this example, cells with employee ID numbers who have certification dates due to expire within 60 days are formatted in yellow, and ID numbers of employees with an expired certification are formatted in red. The rules are shown in the following image.

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    The first rule (which, if True, sets cell background color to red) tests a date value in column B against the current date (obtained by using the TODAY function in a formula). Assign the formula to the first data value in column B, which is B2. The formula for this rule is =B2<TODAY(). This formula tests the cells in column B (cells B2:B15). If the formula for any cell in column B evaluates to True, its corresponding cell in column A (for example, A5 corresponds to B5, A11 corresponds to B11), is then formatted with a red background color. After all the cells specified under Applies to are evaluated with this first rule, the second rule is tested. This formula checks if values in the B column are less than 60 days from the current date (for example, suppose today’s date is 8/11/2010). The cell in B4, 10/4/2010, is less than 60 days from today, so it evaluates as True, and is formatted with a yellow background color. The formula for this rule is =B2<TODAY()+60. Any cell that was first formatted red by the highest rule in the list is left alone.

    A rule higher in the list has greater precedence than a rule lower in the list. By default, new rules are always added to the top of the list and therefore have a higher precedence, so you'll want to keep an eye on their order. You can change the order of precedence by using the Move Up and Move Down arrows in the dialog box.

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  • What happens when more than one conditional formatting rule evaluates to True

    Sometimes you have more than one conditional formatting rule that evaluates to True. Here's how rules are applied, first when rules don't conflict, and then when they do conflict:

    When rules don't conflict For example, if one rule formats a cell with a bold font and another rule formats the same cell with a red color, the cell is formatted with both a bold font and a red color. Because there is no conflict between the two formats, both rules are applied.

    When rules conflict For example, one rule sets a cell font color to red and another rule sets a cell font color to green. Because the two rules are in conflict, only one can apply. The rule that is applied is the one that is higher in precedence (higher in the list in the dialog box).

  • How pasting, filling, and the Format Painter affect conditional formatting rules

    While editing your worksheet, you may copy and paste cell values that have conditional formats, fill a range of cells with conditional formats, or use the Format Painter. These operations can affect conditional formatting rule precedence in the following way: a new conditional formatting rule based on the source cells is created for the destination cells.

    If you copy and paste cell values that have conditional formats to a worksheet opened in another instance of Excel (another Excel.exe process running at the same time on the computer), no conditional formatting rule is created in the other instance and the format is not copied to that instance.

  • What happens when a conditional format and a manual format conflict

    If a conditional formatting rule evaluates as True, it takes precedence over any existing manual format for the same selection. This means that if they conflict, the conditional formatting applies and the manual format does not. If you delete the conditional formatting rule, the manual formatting for the range of cells remains.

    Manual formatting is not listed in the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box nor is it used to determine precedence.

  • Controlling when rule evaluation stops by using the Stop If True check box

    For backwards compatibility with versions of Excel earlier than Excel 2007, you can select the Stop If True check box in the Manage Rules dialog box to simulate how conditional formatting might appear in those earlier versions of Excel that do not support more than three conditional formatting rules or multiple rules applied to the same range.

    For example, if you have more than three conditional formatting rules for a range of cells, and are working with a version of Excel earlier than Excel 2007, that version of Excel:

    • Evaluates only the first three rules.

    • Applies the first rule in precedence that is True.

    • Ignores rules lower in precedence if they are True.

    The following table summarizes each possible condition for the first three rules:

    If rule

    Is

    And if rule

    Is

    And if rule

    Is

    Then

    One

    True

    Two

    True or False

    Three

    True or False

    Rule one is applied and rules two and three are ignored.

    One

    False

    Two

    True

    Three

    True or False

    Rule two is applied and rule three is ignored.

    One

    False

    Two

    False

    Three

    True

    Rule three is applied.

    One

    False

    Two

    False

    Three

    False

    No rules are applied.

    You can select or clear the Stop If True check box to change the default behavior:

    • To evaluate only the first rule, select the Stop If True check box for the first rule.

    • To evaluate only the first and second rules, select the Stop If True check box for the second rule.

    You can't select or clear the Stop If True check box if the rule formats by using a data bar, color scale, or icon set.

If you'd like to watch a video showing how to manage conditional formatting rules, see Video: Manage conditional formatting.

The order in which conditional formatting rules are evaluated - their precedence - also reflects their relative importance: the higher a rule is on the list of conditional formatting rules, the more important it is. This means that in cases where two conditional formatting rules conflict with each other, the rule that is higher on the list is applied and the rule that is lower on the list is not applied.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Manage Rules.

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    The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box appears.

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    The conditional formatting rules for the current selection are displayed, including the rule type, the format, the range of cells the rule applies to, and the Stop If True setting.

    If you don't see the rule that you want, in the Show formatting rules for list box, make sure that the right range of cells, worksheet, table, or PivotTable report is selected.

  2. Select a rule. Only one rule can be selected at a time.

  3. To move the selected rule up in precedence, click Move Up. To move the selected rule down in precedence, click Move Down.

    (Video) Highlight Cells that Match with Conditional Formatting

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  4. Optionally, to stop rule evaluation at a specific rule, select the Stop If True check box.

Clear conditional formatting on a worksheet

  • On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.

Follow these steps if you have conditional formatting in a worksheet, andyou need to remove it.

For an entire worksheet

  • On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.

In a range of cells

  1. Select the cells that contain the conditional formatting.

  2. Click the Quick Analysis Lens Use conditional formatting to highlight information (44) button that appears to the bottom right of the selected data.

    Notes: Quick Analysis Lens will not be visible if:

    • All of the cells in the selected range are empty, or

    • There is an entry only in the upper-left cell of the selected range, with all of the other cells in the range being empty.

  3. Click Clear Format.

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Find and remove the same conditional formats throughout a worksheet

  1. Click on a cell that has the conditional format that you want to remove throughout the worksheet.

  2. On the Home tab, click the arrow next to Find & Select, and then click Go To Special.

  3. Click Conditional formats.

  4. Click Same under Data validation. to select all of the cells that contain the same conditional formatting rules.

  5. On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Selected Cells.

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Tip:The following sections use examples so you can follow along in Excel for the web. To start, download the Conditional Formatting Examples workbook and save it to OneDrive. Then, open OneDrive in a web browser and select the downloaded file.

  1. Select the cells you want to format, then select Home > Styles > Conditional Formatting > New Rule.You can also open the Conditional Formatting pane and create a new rule without first selecting a range of cells.

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  2. Verify or adjust the cells inApply to range.

  3. Choose a Rule Typeand adjust the options to meet your needs.

  4. When finished, select Done and the rule will be applied to your range.

  1. Select a cell which has a conditional format you want to change. Or you can select Home > Styles > Conditional Formatting> Manage Rules to open the Conditional Formatting task pane and select an existing rule.

  2. The Conditional Formatting task pane displays any rules which apply to specific cells or ranges of cells.

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  3. Hover overthe rule and select Editby clicking thepencil icon. This opens thetask pane for ruleediting.

  4. Modify the rule settings and click Done to apply the changes.

The Conditional Formatting task pane provides everything you need for creating, editing, and deleting rules. Use Manage Rules to openthe task pane and work with all the Conditional Formatting rules in a selection or a sheet.

  1. In an open workbook, select Home > Styles > Conditional Formatting> Manage Rules.

  2. TheConditional Formattingtask pane opens and displaysthe rules, scoped to your current selection.

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From here, you can:

  • Choose a different scope on the Manage Rules in menu - for example, choosing this sheet tells Excel to look for all rules on the current sheet.

  • Add a rule by selecting New Rule (the plus sign).

  • Delete all rules in scopeby selecting Delete All Rules (the garbage can).

You can use a formula to determine how Excel evaluates and formats a cell. Open the Conditional Formatting pane and select an existing rule or create a new rule.

In the Rule Type dropdown, select Formula.

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Enter the formula in the box.You can use any formula that returns a logical value of TRUE (1) or FALSE (0),but you can use AND and OR to combine a set of logical checks.

For example,=AND(B3="Grain",D3<500) is true for a cell in row 3 if both B3="Grain" and D3<500are true.

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You can clear conditional formatting in selected cells or the entire worksheet.

  • To clear conditional formatting in selected cells, select the cells in the worksheet. ThenSelectHome > Styles >Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Selected Cells.

  • To clear conditional formatting in the entire worksheet, selectHome > Styles >Conditional Formatting > Clear Rules > Clear Rules from Entire Sheet.

  • To delete conditional formatting rules, selectHome > Styles >Conditional Formatting >Manage Rules and use the delete (garbage can)on a specific rule or the Delete all rules button.

Color scales are visual guides which help you understand data distribution and variation. Excel offers both two-color scales and three-color scales.

A two-color scale helps you compare a range of cells by using a gradation of two colors. The shade of the color represents higher or lower values. For example, in a green and yellow color scale, you can specify that higher value cells bemore green and lower value cells have a more yellow.

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A three-color scale helps you compare a range of cells by using a gradation of three colors. The shade of the color represents higher, middle, or lower values. For example, in a green, yellow, and red color scale, you can specify that higher value cells have a green color, middle value cells have a yellow color, and lower value cells have a red color.

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Tip:You can sort cells that have one of these formats by their color - just use the context menu.

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format using color scales.

  2. Click Home> Styles >Conditional Formatting > Color Scales and select a color scale.

A data bar helps you see the value of a cell relative to other cells. The length of the data bar represents the value in the cell. A longer bar represents a higher value, and a shorter bar represents a lower value. Data bars are useful in spotting higher and lower numbers, especially with large amounts of data, such as top selling and bottom selling toys in a holiday sales report.

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  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. SelectHome > Styles >Conditional Formatting > Data Bars and select a style.

Use an icon set to annotate and classify data into three to five categories separated by a threshold value. Each icon represents a range of values. For example, in the 3 Arrows icon set, the green up arrow represents higher values, the yellow sideways arrow represents middle values, and the red down arrow represents lower values.

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  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. SelectHome > Styles >Conditional Formatting> Icon Sets and choose an icon set.

This option lets you highlight specific cell values within a range of cells based on their specific contents. This can be especially useful when working with data sorted using a different range.

For example, in an inventory worksheet sorted by categories, you could highlight the names of products where you have fewer than 10 items in stock so it's easy to see which products need restocking without resorting the data.

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. SelectHome >Styles >Conditional Formatting >Highlight Cell Rules.

  3. Select the comparison, such as Between, Equal To,Text That Contains, or A Date Occurring.

You can highlight the highest and lowest values in a range of cells which are based on a specified cutoff value.

Some examples of this would include highlightingthe top fiveselling products in a regional report, the bottom 15% products in a customer survey, or the top 25 salaries in a department.

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. SelectHome >Styles >Conditional Formatting >Top/Bottom Rules.

  3. Select the command you want, such as Top 10 items or Bottom 10 %.

  4. Enter the values you want to use, and select a format (fill, text, or border color).

You can highlight values above or below an average or standard deviation in a range of cells.

For example, you can find the above-average performers in an annual performance review, or locate manufactured materials that fall below two standard deviations in a quality rating.

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. SelectHome>Styles >Conditional Formatting >Top/Bottom Rules.

  3. Select the option you want, such as Above Average or Below Average.

  4. Enter the values you want to use, and select a format (fill, text, or border color).

  1. Select the cells that you want to conditionally format.

  2. SelectHome >Styles >Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cell Rules>Duplicate Values.

  3. Enter the values you want to use, and select a format (fill, text, or border color).

If you want to apply an existing formatting style to other cells on your worksheet,use Format Painter to copy the conditional formatting to that data.

  1. Click the cell that has the conditional formatting you want to copy.

  2. Click Home > Format Painter.

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    The pointer will change to a paintbrush.

    Tip:You can double-click Format Painter if you want to keep using the paintbrush to paste the conditional formatting in other cells.

  3. Drag the paintbrush across the cells or rangeof cells you want formatted.

  4. To stop using the paintbrush, press Esc.

Note:If you’ve used a formula in the rule that applies the conditional formatting, you might have to adjust relative and absolute references in the formula after pasting the conditional format. For more information, see Switch between relative, absolute, and mixed references.

(Video) Use conditional formatting to highlight information

FAQs

How do you highlight specific information in Excel? ›

Click the cell, and then drag across the contents of the cell that you want to select in the formula bar. Press F2 to edit the cell, use the arrow keys to position the insertion point, and then press SHIFT+ARROW key to select the contents.

How do I highlight data in Excel based on value? ›

On the Home tab, in the Style group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Highlight Cells Rules. Select the command you want, such as Between, Equal To Text that Contains, or A Date Occurring. Enter the values you want to use, and then select a format.

Can you use conditional formatting to highlight important data in a report? ›

You use conditional formatting to highlight important data in a report.

Can you use an if statement to color a cell? ›

Apply an If-Then rule to all cells by pressing “Ctrl-A” before assigning your rule. If you copy values from colored cells and paste them into new it new cells, the new cells acquire the color of the copied cell. You may find the “Text Contains” rule useful when working with alphanumeric data.

How do I highlight only certain things? ›

To select only certain items from the list, hold down Ctrl , and click each item you want to highlight.

How do you highlight specific text? ›

Tap on the annotations icon at the bottom of the preview screen to open the annotations toolbar. You will see a set of tools appear. Next, select the highlight text tool. Tap and drag on a section of text within the file itself to highlight it.

How do I color text in Excel based on value? ›

Select the cell values, and click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule. 3. Click Format to go to Format Cells dialog, then under the Font tab, select one color you want from the Color list. Then click OK > OK to close dialogs.

Can you highlight a cell in Excel based on value? ›

Conditional formatting makes it easy to highlight certain values or make particular cells easy to identify. This changes the appearance of a cell range based on a condition (or criteria). You can use conditional formatting to highlight cells that contain values which meet a certain condition.

How do you color numbers based on value results in Excel? ›

Go to Home >> Styles >> Conditional Formatting >> Highlight Cells Rules >> Equal To. In Equal To dialog box put the number and assign the color that you want to it, then click OK.

Can you use conditional formatting in an if statement? ›

The answer is yes and no. Any conditional formatting argument must generate a TRUE result, meaning that at a literal level, your conditional formatting rule is an If/Then statement along the lines of “If this condition is TRUE, THEN format the cell this way”.

What are the 3 conditional formatting options? ›

They are grouped into three categories: Data Bars are horizontal bars added to each cell, much like a bar graph. Color Scales change the color of each cell based on its value. Each color scale uses a two- or three-color gradient.

Can IF function highlight cell? ›

Highlight Cells – IF Function

To highlight cells depending on the value contained in that cell with conditional formatting, you can use the IF Function within a Conditional Formatting rule. Select the range you want to apply formatting to. In the Ribbon, select Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule.

How do I auto populate data in Excel based on another cell? ›

Click and hold the left mouse button, and drag the plus sign over the cells you want to fill. And the series is filled in for you automatically using the AutoFill feature.

How do you make a cell populate based on value in another? ›

Anyone who has used Excel for some time knows how to use the autofill feature to autofill an Excel cell based on another. You simply click and hold your mouse in the lower right corner of the cell, and drag it down to apply the formula in that cell to every cell beneath it (similar to copying formulas in Excel).

How do you highlight different parts of text at the same time? ›

For example, select some text. Press and hold CTRL. Select the next item that you want. Important Be sure to press and hold CTRL while you select the next item that you want to include in the selection.

What do you call the process of highlighting the important information? ›

Sometimes called "close reading," annotating usually involves highlighting or underlining key pieces of text and making notes in the margins of the text. This page will introduce you to several effective strategies for annotating a text that will help you get the most out of your reading. Why Annotate?

How do you highlight words quickly? ›

Select some text then press Ctrl + Alt + H to highlight the selection with the current color. Or, if the text is already highlighted, the highlight will be removed. When there's no selection, pressing Ctrl + Alt + H starts the highlight painter (the mouse pointer changes) then select the text.

Is there a highlight text command? ›

Hold down the "Ctrl" key and the "Shift" key. Press the right arrow key to select the word to the right, or press the left arrow key to select the word to the left. Select one character at a time by holding down the "Shift" key and and using either arrow key (right or left).

Which tool you can use for making your text highlight? ›

What's Highlight Tool? Highlight Tool is a Google Docs Add-on that enables its users to effectively highlight their Google Docs, extract highlighted text, and share and collaborate with other users through sharing their highlighter sets. Highlight Tool is made for students and educators at its very core.

How do you automatically change the color of a cell in Excel based on data? ›

Re: EXCEL change cell fill color automatic

On the Home tab of the ribbon, select Conditional Formatting > New Rule... Select 'format only cells that contain'. Select 'Cell Value' from the first dropdown. Select 'equal to' from the second dropdown.

How do I highlight all cells referenced by a formula in Excel? ›

Select a cell with a formula and press Ctrl-[ (Ctrl-open-square-bracket).

Why you shouldn't use if statements? ›

There is nothing wrong with using if-statements, but avoiding them can sometimes make the code a bit more readable to humans. This is definitely not a general rule as sometimes avoiding if-statements will make the code a lot less readable. You be the judge. Avoiding if-statements is not just about readability.

What is conditional formatting with example? ›

Conditional Formatting (CF) is a tool that allows you to apply formats to a cell or range of cells, and have that formatting change depending on the value of the cell or the value of a formula. For example, you can have a cell appear bold only when the value of the cell is greater than 100.

How do you explain conditional formatting? ›

Conditional formatting is a feature of many spreadsheet applications that allows you to apply special formatting to cells that meet certain criteria. It is most often used to highlight, emphasize, or differentiate among data and information stored in a spreadsheet.

How do you highlight data in Excel? ›

Press F2 to edit the cell, use the arrow keys to position the insertion point, and then press SHIFT+ARROW key to select the contents. and then, under Theme Colors or Standard Colors, click the color that you want to use.

How do you highlight text quickly in Excel? ›

To do this, place your cursor on the first cell or cell range that you want to highlight. Then, press and hold the Ctrl and Shift keys on your keyboard, and use the arrow keys to select the other cells or cell ranges.

Can you conditional format part of a cell? ›

Apply conditional formatting to text

Select the range of cells, the table, or the whole sheet that you want to apply conditional formatting to. On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting. Point to Highlight Cells Rules, and then click Text that Contains. Type the text that you want to highlight, and then click OK.

How can you change the Font Colour of a selected portion of text? ›

Select the text that you want to change. On the Home tab, in the Font group, choose the arrow next to Font Color, and then select a color. You can also use the formatting options on the Mini toolbar to quickly format text. The Mini toolbar appears automatically when you select text.

Can you change Font color in excel based on value? ›

Answer: If you wish to change the color of the font based on the value in a cell, you will need to apply conditional formatting. To do this, select the cell that you wish to apply the formatting to. In this example, we've selected cell B8. Select the Home tab in the toolbar at the top of the screen.

How do you highlight everything quickly? ›

Press Ctrl+A on your keyboard to select all text in the document.

How do you highlight a lot of text at once? ›

If you want to highlight a whole line of text, move your cursor to the start of the line, hold Shift , and then press Down arrow . You may also use the shortcut key combination Shift + End . If you want to highlight all text (the entire page), press the shortcut key Ctrl + A .

How do I highlight cells based on criteria? ›

On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting, point to Highlight Cells Rules, and then click Text that Contains. In the box next to containing, type the text that you want to highlight, and then click OK.

Can you make a cell change Colour depending on value? ›

Go to Patterns tab and select your desired color and click on OK. This will color cells based on their values. The pictures below show all the steps in sequence.

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