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Excel® 2010 Bible by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 20. Visualizing Data Using Conditional Formatting

IN THIS CHAPTER

An overview of Excel's conditional formatting feature

How to use the graphical conditional formats

Examples of using conditional formatting formulas

Tips for using conditional formatting

This chapter explores conditional formatting, one of Excel's most versatile features. You can apply conditional formatting to a cell so that the cell looks different, depending on its contents.

Microsoft made significant enhancements to conditional formatting in Excel 2007, and it's now a useful tool for visualizing numeric data. You'll find a few more conditional formatting improvements in Excel 2010.

20.1. About Conditional Formatting

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 20.1 shows a worksheet with nine ranges, each with a different type of conditional formatting rule applied. Here's a brief explanation ...

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