In This Chapter
This chapter explores the topic of 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.
Conditional formatting is a useful tool for visualizing numeric data. In some cases, conditional formatting may be a viable alternative to creating a chart.
Conditional formatting enables you to apply cell formatting selectively and automatically, based on the contents of the cells. For example, you can apply conditional formatting in such a way 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 an easy 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 19.1 shows a worksheet with nine ranges, each with a different type of conditional formatting rule applied. Here’s a brief explanation of each: