This chapter explores conditional formatting, one of Excel’s most versatile features. You can apply conditional formatting to a cell so that the cells look different, depending on its content.
Conditional formatting has improved significantly in Excel 2007, and it’s now a useful tool for visualizing numeric data. In some cases, you may be able to use conditional formatting in lieu of a chart.
Conditional formatting enables you to apply cell formatting selectively and automatically, based on the contents of the cells. For example, you can set things up so that all negative values in a range have a light-yellow background color. When you enter or change a value in the range, Excel examines the value and checks the conditional formatting rules for the cell. If the value is negative, the background is shaded. If not, no formatting is applied.
Conditional formatting is a useful way to quickly identify erroneous cell entries or cells of a particular type. You can use a format (such as bright-red cell shading) to make particular cells easy to identify.
Figure 21.1 shows a worksheet with nine ranges, each with a different type of conditional formatting rule applied. Here’s a brief ...