Excel Trick #4: Conditional Formatting

One of my favorite features in Excel is Conditional Formatting. Conditional Formatting automatically applies miniature graphs, colors, and icons based on your cell contents, so you can quickly compare and analyze your data at a glance.

It’s an extremely helpful tool for business!

Conditional Formatting in Use

For example, if your company has a limited overtime policy, you can set cells with values over 40 hours to show as red and immediately see which employees regularly clock overtime.

In this example, the cell fills range from dark green to red, with nine gradations in between. As you update your spreadsheet, all the colors will change accordingly across the range of high to low.

Also notice the red, yellow and green arrows? Those icons automatically update as your data changes.

Want to know which of your products are your best sellers? Use Conditional Formatting to show your hottest sellers in red to your poorest performers in blue.

One of the Conditional Formatting options I love most are called Data Bars. They turn each cell into its own bar chart.

Watch our video below for a quick tutorial on Conditional Formatting with Data Bars.

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