Conditionally formatted data: Examples and guidelines

In Excel 2010, conditional formatting has been improved.
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Enhancements to conditional formatting are a popular feature in Microsoft Excel. Analyzing data has never been more interesting and colorful. Now, you can track trends, check status, spot data, and find top values like never before.

Conditional formatting example

We've provided a workbook full of examples and guidelines to help you get up-to-speed. Here's a summary of what's in the workbook.

Rule Type


Cell value

Identify specific numbers, dates, and text in a list of products

Cell value (with formula)

Identify a dynamically changed number or text value in a list of products

Top/bottom values
Above/below average

Identify top, bottom, and above average values in a recent book tour report

Top/bottom values

Determine who are the top two students in the class


Find duplicate rows in a list of customers

Icon set

Quickly see revenue status and trends from one quarter to the next

Icon set

Compare different product criteria by using a rating scale

Icon set

Examine profit trends from month to month

Icon set

Identify regional sales below $900,000

Data bars

Compare heights of the tallest mountains

3 color scale

Examine overall sales distributions in key product categories


Shade alternate rows in a range


Compare data in a cell outside the conditionally formatted range of cells


Shade an entire row where several criteria must be true


Shade an entire row if the row is a unique value

To download the workbook, do the following:

Important: The following workbook requires Microsoft Excel 2007 or Microsoft Excel 2010.

  1. Click the link Conditional Formatting Samples.

  2. In the File Download dialog box, click Save.

    Note: Do not click Open because doing so will display a warning message and open a read-only version of the workbook.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, click Save.

  4. When the file download is complete, click Open.

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