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conditional formatting

conditional formatting

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conditional formatting
conditional formatting

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Published by: Balaji.S (ACA) Srirangam on Nov 15, 2012
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02/28/2013

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...because time & technology matterHomeAbout UsUpdate NotificationsPrivacy Policy2 QsContact UsJust added PDF screen steps to
Excel Decision Matrix tutorial
. Scroll to resource section to find it.Main MenuHome5 Minute TipsGeneral
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Cell PhonesEmailNewsReviewsTerm to LearnUseful UtilitiesWeb SitesExcel TutorialsRSS Help PageHome 5 Minute Tips GeneralHow to use Conditional Formatting to Highlight Data
How to use Conditional Formatting to Highlight Data 
Walk into most offices and you’re apt to find someone using an Excel spreadsheet. It’s one of thosecommon business tools. The problem with many spreadsheets is they make the reader find the keyinformation rather than using Excel to highlight these cells. Fortunately, Excel's conditionalformatting can make your data stand out. (Includesconditional formatting screencast)I see it happen all the time. You get a spreadsheet from someone with rows of data and it all looks thesame. But is the data the same? Are there cell values that are different from the rest? Is somethingoutside the norm? These are the type of questions Excel users have when they see spreadsheets.
 
 
Page 1 of 4Excel Conditional Formatting Tutorial & Screencast6/25/2012http://www.timeatlas.com/5_minute_tips/general/how_to_use_conditional_formatting_to_...
 
Formatting Excel Cells Based on Conditions
Instead of having the reader scan each cell, you can have Excel do some of the legwork by usingconditional formatting.
This allows Excel to apply a defined format to cells that meet specificcriteria.
These formats might include a different background color, font color or border. The goal isto make important information stand out so you can find them easier.Excel already does some of this for you. As example when you format numbers, there are optionssuch as displaying negative numbers in red. This is an example of a predefined format. Excel allows you to use formatting on individual cells or rows. There are two methods involved. Thesimplest method is to have Excel apply the conditional formatting if the cell meets a certain criteria.This uses the “
Cell Value Is
” method. Some Cell Value examples include:Apply a red background if the value is less than 50Apply an italic bold font if the value is between 70 and 90Apply a green font color if the value is Montana
Excel also allows you to use formulas for conditional formatting
. One benefit to excel formulas isyou can reference the values in another cell. In the example below, I’m requesting that if the value inF2 is greater than the value in H2, apply a green background color. This can be useful if you like to docomparative analysis as you can color code items that fall above or below certain ranges. Page 2 of 4Excel Conditional Formatting Tutorial & Screencast6/25/2012http://www.timeatlas.com/5_minute_tips/general/how_to_use_conditional_formatting_to_...
 
You don’t need to apply the formatting to one cell.
You could apply conditional formatting to a rowor column.
The only difference is you highlightmultiple cells instead of one when you start theprocess.
The Order of your Conditions Matters
When you apply the conditional formatting using the “Cell Value Is” method,
you’re allowed up tothree conditions
. For example, the screen snap below shows three rules based on cell values andcolors.Cell value < 100 format for green backgroundCell value < 50 format for yellow backgroundCell value < 10 format for red background These formatting conditions seem simple. You’re probably thinking that if you have a cell with avalue of 10, it would show with a red background since it is less than 25. Sorry, the value of “10” willproduce a green background.The reason the green background would display is that Excel takes the value of “10” and applies it toCondition 1 to see if it is true. Since 10 is less than 100, the condition is met and the greenbackground is applied. Conditions 2 and 3 are not evaluated.
Excel stops when it meets a truecondition
.There are two ways to fix the problem. One way is to reverse the order of the conditions so the mostrestrictive is at the top. For instance, have Condition 1 be Cell Value Is less than 25. A second waywould be to change the “less than” criteria to “between” and state the ranges for each of theconditions.
How to Apply Conditional Formatting
Adding these formatting rules is easy. The hardest part is finding out what you want to emphasize onyour Excel spreadsheet. What are your audiences’ interests and what actions might they take.
To apply conditional formatting to one or more cells,
1. Highlight your cell or range of cells.
 
 
Page 3 of 4Excel Conditional Formatting Tutorial & Screencast6/25/2012http://www.timeatlas.com/5_minute_tips/general/how_to_use_conditional_formatting_to_...

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