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Changing Shading when a Column Value Changes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Changing Shading when a Column Value Changes.

Doug has a data table that includes a column of part numbers. This data is sorted by the part numbers column. The part numbers are not unique; for instance, some part numbers appear three times in the table and others appear five times. Doug would like to format the table so that the rows of the table have a "green bar" effect.

For instance, the first five rows may have the same part number, so Doug wants those rows to be shaded green. The next two rows have a different part number, so he wants those to have no green shading. The next three rows have the next part number, so those should be green again, and so on. Every time the part number changes, the shading of the row (green or not green) should change.

One easy way to accomplish this task is to create a helper column that displays either a 0 or a 1 depending upon the part number in column A. For instance, let's say you wanted to put your helper column in column Z. You could put the following formula in cell Z2:

=IF(A2=A1,Z1,1-Z1)

Copy the formula down column Z for each row in your data table. When done, column Z will contain either 1 or 0, switching only when the part number in column A changes. You can then use the value in column Z as a controlling value for your conditional formatting. All you need to do is set the formula in the format so that if column Z contains 1, then your cells are green.

You should note that once your conditional formatting is set up and working properly, you can hide column Z so that it isn't a distraction to anyone using your data table.

If you can't use a helper column for some reason, then there is a pretty cool formula you can use in the conditional format itself. Just make sure your data table is sorted by column A (the part numbers) and then select all the cells in the table, with the exception of any column headers. Then define a conditional format that uses this formula:

=MOD(SUMPRODUCT(--(($A$1:INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW()-1,1,3,1))
=$A$2:INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(),1,3,1)))=FALSE)),2)

Remember that this is a single formula, entered in the conditional formatting rule, all on one line. This formula assumes that the part numbers are in column A and that the data table begins in cell A2. Further, if you delete any rows in the data table, you'll want to reapply the conditional format to all the cells in the data table.

Finally, there are any number of macros that you could write to apply the formatting. All you need to do is have the macro step through the cells in column A, determining whether the part number changes, and then apply the correct formatting based on what it finds out. Here is an example:

Sub ShadeRows()
    Dim ThisOrder As Long
    Dim PrvOrder As Long
    Dim LastRow As Long
    Dim Clr As Integer
    Dim R As Long

    LastRow = ActiveSheet.Range("A" & Rows.Count).End(xlUp).Row

    ' Enter desired color codes here
    ' (24 is Lavender, 35 is Light Green)
    RwColor = Array(24, 35)

    Clr = 0  ' Used to toggle between the two colors

    For R = 2 To LastRow
        ThisOrder = Cells(R, 1).Value
        PrvOrder = Cells(R - 1, 1).Value
        If ThisOrder <> PrvOrder Then Clr = 1 - Clr

        ' Select only the columns that are used
        Range("A" & R & ":M" & R).Select
        Selection.Interior.ColorIndex = RwColor(Clr)
    Next R
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10517) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Changing Shading when a Column Value Changes.

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Comments for this tip:

Fergie    08 Dec 2015, 10:21
Hi folks,

Looking for a macro (or formula) that will change the formatting for cells when the value of the cell does not equal the value of the previous cell.

For example: a column in a spread sheet is shorted as ascending. The cells in that column contain a string,e.g., "xxxyyyzzz". There are several instances of each string value, so given the example, one could see several instances of "xxxyyyzzz" stacked in the column and then see a change to "xxxyyyzza" followed by several instances of that string, and so on. I would like to change the fill color in those cells that have different values. Say the first value is "xxxyyyzzz" and there are 10 instances of that string. I would leave those 10 cells alone (no formatting), however, on the first cell containing a different value, say the "xxxyyyzza", the macro would change the fill color for that cell, say to Blue. Then, on the next change, the macro would change the fill to "No color". Upon the next new value it would change the fill color back to Blue and so forth until it reaches the last cell in the column. Can you point me to sample macros that do this or similar?

Thanks much,

Fergie
Debra Slater    16 Nov 2012, 14:56
Can I make a cell auto shade only if I change the value in the cell?
 
 

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