TIP: Conditional Formatting in Excel 2010

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Excel is a powerful tool for creating spreadsheets.  How much of it do you use in your business?
Conditional formatting is one more technique you can use to add value to your spreadsheet and automate tasks.  Lets say we have a spreadsheet where we want to track sales of a product over time.  You want to highlight the days where you only sold ten items or less, to get an idea of which are good days and which are bad.
The slow solution is to go back after the data is entered and highlight the entries by formatting them with a green color if they are 10 or less.
Conditional formatting automates this task.
  1. Highlight the field or area you want to format.
  2. Look for the Conditional Formatting button on your ribbon bar under Home.
    Conditional Formatting Icon

    Conditional Formatting Icon

  3. Select Highlight Cells Rule and then Less than…

    Highlight Cells Rule Option

    Highlight Cells Rule Option

  4. For our example, I’ll type 11 in the box:

    Entering the Condition

    Entering the Condition

  5. Play around with the formatting options on the right or use a custom format.
Once finished, all the data in your highlighted area should be formatted based on your condition.
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