Set Your Cells Apart: How to Use Conditional Formatting

set1Imagine your boss comes in to your office one day and gives you a giant spreadsheet that goes on for pages and pages and pages. He wants you to highlight every single cell that contains word “NO” and says it is a top priority. There are two ways you can do this.

If you prefer to do things the tedious and time-consuming way, you could go through every single sheet and cell in the entire workbook and highlight each and every cell. OR if you like to be quick and efficient, you can use Excel’s powerful Conditional Formatting tool. If that way sounds appealing to you, read on! We will explain how to make this daunting and formidable task as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Select the cells where you want the formatting applied. On the Home tab, click the Conditional Formatting icon and select “New Rule.”


2.Select the option “Format only cells that contain”. In the first drop down menu, select Specific Text (or Cell Value, etc). In the third input box, type “No”.


3. Select the custom format you want by clicking the Format… button. We selected the font color to be red but you can format it anyway you like. Hit OK.


And there you have it! What could have taken you hours and hours now literally takes you minutes!

There are many other great ways to format conditionally. Be adventurous and play around with some of the other options and you will be impressing your boss and getting that promotion you deserve in no time!