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: Shading Rows with Conditional Formatting.

Shading Rows with Conditional Formatting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 15, 2017)

If you haven't tried out the conditional formatting features of Excel before, they can be quite handy. One way to use this feature is to cause Excel to shade every other row in a table. This is great when you have a particularly wide table, and you want to make it a bit easier to read on printouts. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Select the table whose alternate rows you want to shade.
  2. Choose Conditional Formatting from the Format menu. Excel displays the Conditional Formatting dialog box.
  3. Using the pull-down condition, select Formula Is. Excel changes the dialog box controls to reflect your choice. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Conditional Formatting dialog box.

  5. In the formula box, enter the following:
  6.      =MOD(ROW(),2)=0
  7. Click on the Format button. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  8. Make sure the Patterns tab is selected. (See Figure 2.)
  9. Figure 2. The Patterns tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  10. Select the color you want used for the row shading.
  11. Click on OK to close the Format Cells dialog box.
  12. Click on OK to close the Conditional Formatting dialog box.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2799) 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: Shading Rows with Conditional Formatting.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...


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