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  • What Is Excel Conditional Formatting & How To Use It?

What Is Excel Conditional Formatting & How To Use It?

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    December 28, 2022
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    January 26, 2024
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Understanding Excel Conditional Formatting - Ajelix Blog

Conditional formatting is a feature that allows you to apply specific formatting to cells or ranges that meet certain conditions. You can highlight cells that contain a certain value, or cells that are “greater than” or “less than” a certain value. You can use it to create data bars, color scales or to create custom rules that apply to specific cells.

In this article, we’ll look at what Excel conditional formatting is. How to use it, and some of the best ways to make use of it.

What is Excel Conditional Formatting?

Excel conditional formatting allows you to apply formatting to cells or ranges based on certain conditions. You can use it to highlight cells that meet certain criteria or to compare values in different cells.

How To Apply Conditional Formatting?

Time needed 2 minutes

For example, let’s say you want to highlight cells that are greater than a certain value. To do this:

  1. Select the range of cells

  2. Go to the Home tab

  3. Click Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Greater than

  4. Enter the value that you want to compare against

    Excel will highlight all the cells that meet the condition.

You can also use conditional formatting to create data bars and color scales. Data bars and color scales allow quickly compare values in cells by displaying them in a range of colors. To use this feature:

  • Select the range of cells you want to format
  • Conditional Formatting > Data Bars > Gradient Fill
  • And select the color scale you want to use.

Finally, you can create custom rules that apply to specific cells. For example, let’s say you want to highlight cells that contain a certain word. To do this:

  • Select the range of cells,
  • Click Conditional Formatting > New Rule > Use a Formula to Determine Which Cells to Format
  • Enter the formula you want to use.

How to Use Excel Conditional Formatting?

Using Excel conditional formatting is fairly straightforward. Select the range of cells you want to format, and then click the Conditional Formatting button in the Home tab. From here, you can choose from a range of options such as Highlight Cells Rules, Data Bars, and Color Scales.

Once you’ve chosen the type of rule you want to create, you can enter the conditions you want to apply. If you want to highlight cells greater than a certain value, enter the value into the Greater than the box.

You can also create custom rules. To do this, select the range of cells, click the Conditional Formatting button, and then click New Rule. You can then enter the formula you want to use.

Best Practices for Excel Conditional Formatting

There are a few best practices you should keep in mind when using Excel conditional formatting. First, you should always create rules that are easy to understand and interpret. This will help you quickly identify cells that meet the conditions you’ve specified.

Second, you should use the same formatting for similar conditions. This will make it easier to quickly identify cells that meet similar conditions.

Finally, you should use the preview function to make sure your formatting is applied correctly. This will help you make sure you’re getting the results you want.


Excel conditional formatting is a powerful feature that can help you make data easier to read and understand. With it, you can highlight cells that meet certain conditions, create data bars and color scales, and create custom rules. By following the best practices, you can make sure you’re getting the most out of this feature.

Learn more productivity tips in our other articles. Let’s connect and receive more daily tips and updates.

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