Quick start: Apply conditional formatting

By applying conditional formatting to your data, you can quickly identify variances in a range of values with a quick glance.

Temperature data with conditional formatting

This graphic shows temperature data with conditional formatting that uses a color scale to differentiate high, medium, and low values. The following procedure uses that data.


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Select the data that you want to conditionally format    

Example of selected data to sort in Excel

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Apply the conditional formatting    

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then click Color Scales.
    Color Scales for Conditional Formatting

  2. Hover over the color scale icons to see a preview of the data with conditional formatting applied.

    In a three-color scale, the top color represents higher values, the middle color represents medium values, and the bottom color represents lower values. This example uses the Red-Yellow-Blue color scale.

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Experiment with the conditional formatting    

On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click the arrow next to Conditional Formatting, and then experiment with the available styles.

Conditional formatting styles

Next steps

  • Watch a video to see conditional formatting in action: Video: Apply conditional formatting

  • After you have applied a style, select your data, click Conditional Formatting on the ribbon, and then click Manage Rules to manually fine-tune your rules and formatting.

  • For more detailed information about getting started with conditional formatting, see Add, change, or clear conditional formats.

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