Excel Basics Conditional Formatting – how to use it in Excel and the ‘Stop if True’ option

Conditional formatting is an option within Excel that can be used to bring some colour to your spreadsheet and allow you to highlight parts of the data in your spreadsheet. It can help you bring your data to life and the use of the colour can allow you to quickly get an idea of a summary or overview of what your data is saying without having to look at each individual bit of data itself. It is often used to show any issues or problem areas and a common way is linking the conditional formatting in with the ‘traffic light’ system of Red, Amber, Green that a lot of businesses use as a way of describing if their data (often sales figures) is positive or not.

The conditional formatting button is found on the Home Tab and has a number options that you can use from highlight cell rules to icon sets and data bars. The option you choose will depend on your data and how you want it to be displayed, but the steps in carrying it out follow the same structure. Once you have created your ‘Rules’ you are also able to amend them using the ‘Manage Rules’ option at the bottom of the conditional formatting drop down menu.

The video below shows you what conditional formatting is and how you can apply it to your data. It takes you through 3 different ways in which you can apply it as well as talking through the Stop if True option and what that does.

Take a look below at the video to find out more and then try it out using the example spreadsheet below in the button!

Click on button to the right to download the example spreadsheet shown in the video to try it out yourself!

We hope you have enjoyed this hint and tip on Excel basics conditional formatting, why not take a look at some previous ones too?

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