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Excel's Conditional Formatting tool on the Home tab is generally associated with information in a column or in a cluster of columns. It can also be used as a comparison tool. If we look at the data in column C and D, maybe what we want to show here with a strong visual component is that whenever these Shipping Dates are more than three days later than the Order Date, you want them to be flagged. You want them to jump out because ideally you like to have your orders taken care of pretty quickly. So in column D here we are about to apply a Conditional Formatting rule that's going to refer to the data in column C. So the Conditional Formatting button is on the Home tab.
And although there are a plenty of rules, and this is a great feature with lots of fun colorful aspects to it, we have to write a formula here. A new rule. Pretty easy though once you see the rule. Use a formula to determine which cells to format. Column D is the column in question. Now it might seem a little strange to type =d1, but by inference this will refer to every cell in the selection. Namely everything in column D. If d1 > c1+3, in other words if the entry in column D is more than thee days after the entry in column C, we want to apply a special format so that it jumps out at us. Format.
And the format can be any combination of Number, Font, Border or Fill characteristics, the most obvious being Fill. Click OK, click OK, and there we go. So in those situations where the shipping date is more than three days later than the order date, we see that clearly here. 5 days, 4 days. Here it is 3, but it's not more than 3 and so on. So you can imagine using this kind of scheme with building type information that's over 30, over 60, over 90, something along those lines, in any number of different applications.
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