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CONDITIONAL FORMATTING

Conditional formatting is extremely useful for things like changing the colour of cells or text in order to flag an event. Formatting occurs when a cell reaches the condition that is set in the Conditional Formatting option. Example 1 If you are doing a roster, having cells that reach a certain date turn red. Example 2 A spreadsheet that has student exam results having those that Pass turn yellow in order to see who should receive a Distinction. You may also want to highlight the Fail marks in red so as to flag them for follow up. The instructions for doing this example are below. Creating a Conditional Format Steps 1-8 show how to make cells in Column D in the screenshot below change colour if a student has passed (using 19 marks or over as the benchmark), (the formula will have to refer to the data in Column C to work this out). Steps 9-10 show how to make the score in Column C change colour if a student has 10 marks or less (to show that they have failed). A working example of the following has been set up on the CONDITIONAL FORMATTING worksheet which is in the Advanced Excel Exercises workbook. 1. Click in the first cell that will have conditional formatting attached (D6) 2. Click on FORMAT, CONDITIONAL FORMATTING. The CONDITIONAL FORMATTING dialog box will appear.
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3. Change the first dialogue box to FORMULA IS. This allows you to enter the instructions to refer to another location other than the one you are currently in. 4. The formula is the condition i.e. to find out if the figure to the left is greater than or equal to (>=) the pass mark of 19 . If you use the pointer to enter the cell address, make sure you change it to relative (as a default Excel will make it Absolute). 5. Click on the FORMAT button 6. In the FORMAT CELLS dialogue box that appears, make all the required changes. In the example being used here you would choose the PATTERNS tab, and then choose a yellow fill colour for the cell. 7. Click on OK (twice) to finalise the formatting.

8. To copy the formatting to the rest of the cells in the column either: use the FORMAT PAINTER ; use the fill handle (use this only if the cell contains a formula) to copy to the other cells beware - if you use the fill handle on cells containing values, you will change the values; or use the normal COPY command and then use the EDIT, PASTE SPECIAL, FORMATS option to apply to the other cells 9. To apply conditional formatting to an active cell (in our example, changing the cell to red if the student has 10 or less marks) - place the cursor in Cell C6. Click on FORMAT, CONDITIONAL FORMATTING 10. Select CELL VALUE IS (this will make Excel look at the value of the cell you are currently placed in). Make the changes the same as the screenshot below (the fill colour is red). Click on OK to finish, then copy the formatting to the rest of the column as previously described.
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NOTES: Should you require more than one condition, click on the ADD button. If you want to get rid of a condition, select the DELETE button and then specify which condition is to be erased. Find Cells That Have Conditional Formats To find all cells that have conditional formatting, click any cell in the worksheet then follow the steps 1-3 below. To find cells that have conditional formatting settings identical to the settings of a specific cell, click the specific cell, then do steps 1-4 below. 1. On the EDIT menu, click GO TO. 2. Click on the SPECIAL button. 3. Select the CONDITIONAL FORMATS option. 4. To find cells with identical conditional formats, click SAME below DATA VALIDATION (the default is ALL).