Video: Use conditional formatting on reports

Conditional formatting allows you to apply different formatting to individual values on reports, either based on the value itself, or on a calculation that includes other values. This can help you see patterns and relationships in the data that might be hard to spot otherwise. This video demonstrates adding some simple conditional formatting rules to highlight certain ranges of values on a report.

Apply conditional formatting to controls on a report

  1. Open the report in Layout view by right-clicking the report in the Navigation Pane and then clicking Layout view.
  2. Select all of the controls to which you want to apply the conditional formatting. To select multiple controls, hold down the SHIFT or CTRL key and click the controls you want.
  3. On the Format tab, in the Control Formatting group, click Conditional Formatting.

    Access opens the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box.
  4. In the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box, click New Rule.
  5. In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, select a value under Select a rule type:
  • To create a rule that is evaluated for each record individually, select Check values in the current record or use an expression.
  • To create a rule that compares records to each other by using data bars, click Compare to other records.

 Note    The Compare to other records option is not available in Web databases.


  1. Under Edit the rule description, specify the rule that will determine when the formatting should be applied, as well as the formatting that you want when the rule’s criteria are met.
  2. Click OK to return to the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box.
  3. To create an additional rule for this control or set of controls, repeat this procedure from step 4. Otherwise, click OK to close the dialog box.

Change the priority of a conditional formatting rule

You can add up to 50 conditional formatting rules for each control or group of controls. Once a rule’s criteria are met , the corresponding format is applied, and no more conditions below that one are evaluated. In the case of conflicting rules, you can increase or decrease the priority of a rule by moving it up or down in the list. Use the following procedure:

  1. Open the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box by following steps 1 through 3 in the preceding procedure.
  2. Select the rule that you want to move, and then use the up and down arrows to move it.