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How to use Conditional Formatting in Excel?

  • Last Updated : 16 Jun, 2021

Microsoft Excel is a software that allows users to store or analyze the data in a proper systematic manner. It uses spreadsheets to organize numbers and data with formulas and functions. MS Excel has a collection of columns and rows that form a table. Generally, alphabetical letters are assigned to columns, and numbers are usually assigned to rows. The point where a column and a row meet is called a cell.

Conditional formatting is a feature in Excel that allows you to format/highlight few particular cells that meet the condition specified or selected by you. You can find it in the home tab under the Styles group.

Steps to use Conditional Formatting:

Step 1: Insert the data/values in the spreadsheet.



Step 2: Select the range of cells.

Step 3: Click on the Conditional formatting in the Home tab.

Step 4: Select any predefined condition or create your own condition(for this select New Rule).

For example, we need to:

  1. Highlight marks which are more than 70.
  2. Highlight marks which are between 50 and 80.
  3. Highlight marks that are below average.
  4. Set icons on the marks.
  5. Show data bars on the marks.

Steps to highlight marks that are more than 70

Step 1: Insert the data in the spreadsheet, we enter the marks in the spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the range of cells(A2:A20).



Step 3: Select the Conditional formatting in the Home tab, click Highlight Cells Rules.

Step 4: Click on the Greater Than option.

Step 5: Enter the value for which you need greater value, under the “Format cells that are GREATER THAN, i.e. 70.

Step 6: You can select your desired color, we will go with the default color.

Step 7: Click OK.



Steps to highlight marks that are between 50 and 80

Step 1: Insert the data in the spreadsheet, we enter the marks in the spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the range of cells(A2:A20).

Step 3: Select the Conditional formatting in the Home tab.

Step 4: Click Highlight Cells Rules.

Step 5: Click on Between option.

Step 6: Enter the values between which the values have to be highlighted.



Step 7: You can select your desired color, we will go with the default color.

Step 8: Click OK.

Steps to highlight marks that are below average

Step 1: Insert the data in the spreadsheet, we enter the marks in the spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the range of cells(A2:A20).

Step 3: Select the Conditional formatting in the Home tab, click on Top/Bottom Rules.

Step 4: Click on Below average.

Step 5: Select your desired color, we will go with the default color.

Step 6: Click OK.

Steps to set icons on the marks

Step 1: Insert the data in the spreadsheet, we enter the marks in the spreadsheet.

Step 2: Select the range of cells(A2:A20).



Step 3: Select the Conditional formatting in the Home tab, click on Icon Sets.

Step 4: Select your desired icon(green shows the above average values, yellow shows the average value, red shows the below-average values).

Step 5: You can also define your own rules.

  • For example, we want a green symbol before the marks greater than 70, red before the marks less than 50, yellow before the marks between 50 and 70.
  • Click on More Rules(here you can change Icon styles, Reverse icon order, Show icon only(i.e. the data(s) will not be displayed), etc).

Step 6: Click OK.

Steps to show data bars on the marks

Step 1: Insert the data in the spreadsheet, we enter the marks in the spreadsheet.



Step 2: Select the range of cells(A2:A20).

Step 3: Select the Conditional formatting in the Home tab, click on the Data bars.

Step 4: Select your desired color for the bars.

Step 5: You can also define your own rules.

  • For example, we want the lowest bar on marks less than 30 and the longest bar on marks greater than 80.
  • Click on More Rules(here you can change Icon styles, Reverse icon order, Show icon only(i.e. the data(s) will not be displayed), etc).

Step 6: Click OK.

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