It never amazes me at what an enthusiastic response I get when I first introduce someone to the Microsoft Excel Conditional Formatting feature.  Out of all the things Microsoft Excel can do, this one seems to get some of the most excited responses.  People just love it and want to learn how to use it.  So should you.

Have you ever encountered situations where you want a cell, or cells, in an Excel worksheet to be a visual indicator that some criteria have been met?  For example, a cell shading to turn red if the value is below a certain value?

Conditional formatting is very useful if you want to visually validate that the information in a specific cell or set of cells is matching your specific criteria. For example, if you need to visually verify whether a single is satisfying one or more criteria, you can easily do that with Microsoft Excel Conditional Formatting.  Once the maverick cells are highlighted you can then quickly go to the cell(s) highlighted and check the formula and the resulting values.

But what if you want to check whether hundreds to even tens of thousands of cells are matching your criteria, which would be a royal pain. Thus enter the conditional formatting feature of Excel.

There are several steps to take to implement Microsoft Excel’s Conditional Formatting to an Excel Workbook – 1) Specifying the set of cells in your Excel workbook to which you want to apply the Conditional Formatting, 2) setting up the criteria to be used for the Conditional Formatting to be activated and 3) setting the conditional formatting to the cell or cells.  This is not difficult to do, but it does take a little time to fully understand how it works.

Once properly done, the Microsoft Excel Conditional Formatting feature will help you to instantly spot rogue cells in your Microsoft Excel workbook.  This, along with other features of Microsoft Excel, such as the Excel AutoFilter should be in your Excel toolbox.