Add, change, or remove conditional formats

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You can use conditional formatting on cells to highlight important values or trends in your data.

  1. Select the cells for which you want to add, change, or remove conditional formatting (conditional format: A format, such as cell shading or font color, that Excel automatically applies to cells if a specified condition is true.).
  2. On the Format menu, click Conditional Formatting.
  3. Do one of the following:

Add a conditional format

Do one of the following:

To use values in the selected cells as the formatting criteria, click Cell Value Is, select the comparison phrase, and then type a constant (constant: A value that is not calculated and, therefore, does not change. For example, the number 210, and the text "Quarterly Earnings" are constants. An expression, or a value resulting from an expression, is not a constant.) value or a formula. If you enter a formula, start it with an equal sign (=).

To use a formula as the formatting criteria (to evaluate data or a condition other than the values in selected cells), click Formula Is and then enter the formula that evaluates to a logical value of TRUE or FALSE.

  1. Click Format.
  2. Select the formatting you want to apply when the cell value meets the condition or the formula returns the value TRUE.
  3. To add another condition, click Add, and then repeat steps 1 through 3.

You can specify up to three conditions. If none of the specified conditions are true, the cells keep their existing formats.

 Note   Using multiple conditions     If more than one specified condition is true, Microsoft Excel applies only the formats of the first true condition, even if more than one condition is true.

Copy formats to other cells

  1. Select the cells that have the conditional formats you want to copy.
  2. On the Formatting toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Format Painter Button image, and then select the cells you want to format.

Change or remove a conditional format

Do one or more of the following:

  • To change formats, click Format for the condition you want to change.
  • To reselect formats on the current tab of the Format Cells dialog box, click Clear and select new formats.
  • To remove one or more conditions, click Delete, and then select the check box for the conditions you want to delete.

 Tip    To remove all conditional formats as well as all other cell formats for selected cells, point to Clear on the Edit menu, and then click Formats.

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Applies to:
Excel 2003