Conditional formatting is a Microsoft Excel feature that sets a cell’s format according to conditions that you specify. Conditional formatting allows you to present numeric data in different colors; for example, you can shade data depending on whether the value is greater, equal to, or less than zero. You can also present list data against a background pattern of alternating shades, as in the following example.
To apply alternating shades to the rows of your worksheet, follow these steps:
- Start Excel, and then open new worksheet.
- Type the following data in cells A1:D4
Bob Smith Active 555-1111 Sue Jones Retired 555-2222 Alf Wilson Retired 555-3333 Mary Morley Retired 555-4444
- Select the range A1:G6.
- On the Format menu, click Conditional Formatting.
- Under Condition 1, select Formula Is.
- In the data entry box, type =MOD(ROW(),2)=1.
- Click the Format button. In the Format Cells dialog box, click the Patterns tab.
- Select a light-blue color, and then click OK.
- In the Conditional Formatting dialog box, click OK.
Notice that if you add more data to the list, the conditional formatting is extended to rows beyond row 6. If you want to remove the formatting from unused cells, such as in columns E through G, you can select those cells, and then delete the conditions in the Conditional Formatting dialog box.
NoteIf formatting is not consistently applied after data is entered, use a formula that checks for blanks first. With this approach, however, the formatting does not appear until you enter values. To do this, follow these steps:
- In Cell A1, type the following conditional formatting formula: =AND(MOD(ROW(),2)=0,A1<>””).
- Copy this cell to the other cells in your range to be shaded.