Excel Conditional Formatting can be used to alter the formatting of an Excel cell based on either:
Before entering the Conditional Formatting menu, you need to first select the cell(s) that you wish to apply the formatting to.
Next, select the Conditional Formatting option from within the 'Styles' group on the Home tab of the Excel ribbon. Clicking on this option will cause the Conditional Formatting drop-down menu to be displayed (see rightabove).
This menu allows you to select the type of Excel Conditional Formatting that you want to apply to your cell(s). This can be either:
These different conditional formatting types are described in depth on the following pages:
|Conditional Formatting Rules:|
|Highlight Cells Rules|
|Data Bars/Color Scales/Icon Sets|
|Conditional Formatting Using Formulas|
Excel Conditional Formatting allows you to specify multiple conditions, and apply different formatting to each of these. After you have specified your first condition, you can specify further conditions by simply repeating the process for adding a condition.
If you want to view or edit the conditions that have been set so far, select the Manage Rules... option from the Excel Conditional Formatting menu (see rightabove). This shows a list of all rules that have been defined so far.
It is important to understand that the order that the Excel Conditional Formatting rules are listed does make a difference. The condition that is positioned at the top of the list is tested first, and then the next one down, etc.
This ordering process is particularly important when you have conditions that overlap (e.g. A1>10, A1>5). This is illustrated in the 'Common Error' example below.
When more than one condition is used for Excel Conditional Formatting, it is important to understand that the conditions are tested in the order that they appear in the 'Rules Manager' window.
Therefore, if we wanted to specify that cells having a value greater than 10 be coloured in red and cells having a value greater than 5 be coloured in orange, the following definition (which applies the test "Cell Value > 5" before the test "Cell Value > 10") would NOT work, as required: