Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.
With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
Learn more about Allen...
Excel includes a powerful feature that allows you to dynamically change the formatting of individual cells based on the results being displayed in that cell. For instance, you could make the text in the cell larger and red if a result is less than a certain threshold. Likewise, you could color the background of a cell based on the result of a formula.
To take advantage of conditional formatting, follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Conditional Formatting dialog box.
Figure 2. The Format Cells dialog box.
It is possible to get very creative with conditional formatting. However, it is not the answer to every formatting need. If you want to be even more creative (you know—bordering on outlandish), you can always develop a macro that will examine all the cells in your sheet or a specific range of cells you select and then change formatting in any way you wish.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2665) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.
Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!