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Friday, August 21, 2009

Conditional Formatting - Overview

Oh my goodness.. Friday hurray!
I need to buy a birthday card for my Dad plus it is Friday and a very nice day so I need to get out and enjoy it however I have promised myself that I would try to write something every day. Let me make this short but sweet and talk about Conditional Formatting.

Excel 2007 has done a lot with conditional formatting. The feature was really beefed up in this newest version and with more people putting information online and having color printers, color formatting is taking off. It is a great way to visualize your data and can often help you pinpoint items of interest.

The great thing about the conditional formatting is that you can apply it to a cell or range of cells and nothing happens until the value or values specified change and meet the applied criteria.

For example, you can select a budget variance column and tell Excel to change any budget value to red if the variance is less than zero. The formatting only changes to red if a number in that column becomes zero or less. If later the variance returns to a positive, the red formatting disappears.

  • Here are just some of the things you can do with it.
  • You can format only cells that contain text, numbers or date values.
  • You can format only top or bottom ranked values.
  • You can format duplicate values.
  • You can use formulas to determine which cells to format!
Take a look at it at conditional formatting. Go to the Home Ribbon, go to the Styles tab and click on Conditional Formatting and see all the choices.

Next week when I have more time, I will overview a couple of things that you can do with Conditional formatting. The coolest thing I use it for is to have Excel shade alternate rows. I'll show you how to do that next week so check back. If you use conditional formatting for something interesting please let me know - I would love to hear about it.
Have a great weekend.

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