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When reading a report, it's helpful to instantly be able to identify any unusual numbers or data. Conditional Formatting allows you to change the appearance of your results according to the criteria you specify. One method, Data Bars, even gives you a graphical comparison of your values. Scroll down in the Navigation pane, right-click on Products Report and choose Layout View. As we look at our products, we'd like to see our most profitable product lines. Let's turn any profits bold and green if they're over $7.
Click on one of the profits, and go up to the Report Layout tools and the Format Ribbon, and click on Conditional Formatting. You have the ability to set multiple rules for multiple fields without ever leaving this window. Let's leave this on what we clicked, and click on New Rule. Leave the default on top, check the values in the current record. You can choose between the Field Value or an Expression, which is a calculation. We'll leave that on Field Value. Change the between to greater than or equal to, and type in the number 7.
We'll change this to Bold, drop down the Color, and choose this dark Green 5 right here, and click OK. Move the window over so that we can see, and click Apply. I can see two values over $7 turn green right here. Now, let's try a different Conditional Format called a Data Bar, to compare the costs of our products. Click on the top dropdown and change it to Cost, and then choose New Rule.
Change the Rule Type to Compare to other records. If we put a check mark in this box, it would show the bars and not show us the numbers. Next, we'll set the values for the Shortest Bar and the Longest Bar. You can pick the Value, the Number or the Percent. We'll leave those as is on Lowest Value and Highest Value. Change the Bar color to green. Let's choose Green 4, just above the last color that we used. Click OK, and then click OK again.
Now, you can instantly see which of our products don't cost us much, and which of them cost us a lot. Click up here to save the report again Go to the Design Ribbon and toggle the View to Report View. Click on one of the products. As you can see, using Conditional Formatting with Data Bars in Reports gives you visual clues into interpreting your data.
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