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- Using the Slicer feature for dynamic PivotTable filtering
- Sharing workbooks via e-mail, the Excel Web App, and SharePoint
- Using Paste Preview for more effecient copying and pasting
- Inserting Sparklines to see patterns in data
- Taking advantage of enhancements to the Conditional Formatting feature
- Analyzing data from multiple sources using the PowerPivot for Excel add-in
- Maintaining file compatibility with older versions
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Excel has done Conditional Formatting for a long time, and the feature got a big facelift in the last version. What's new in this version are some new formatting choices and the ability to apply multiple rules, one on top of another. First thing is we want to select all the data here. You can take your mouse and drag down to the end, but to make it a little easier for you, I created a range name, so you could click that down arrow up here in the Name box and choose data and select it all. So you want to be in the Home tab, and let's go over here to Conditional Formatting.
First, I'll show you the cosmetic improvements. If you go down here to Data Bars, you can see in addition to gradient fills, we now have solid fills for automatic comparison. In Color Scales, we now have more color scales to choose from. That's very nice. And if you look at the Icon Sets, we have more icons. So, for example, we have more arrows, and for like cell phone-type bars, we have a four bar scale, and we also have a five bar scale.
And here are some box icons that are brand-new. The whole purpose for using any of these icons is, if you simply want to compare the numbers with each other, low numbers, medium numbers, high numbers, rather than writing formulas and doing all sorts of complicated comparisons, the Conditional Formatting Color Scales just do a lot of that work for you. So you can get a rough idea of what's happening. Let me show you the real nice improvement in Conditional Formatting. Let's go down here and choose New Rule, and we have all different rules that we can choose from, and let's choose the first one here: Format all cells based on their values.
And let's get maybe a greenish set of colors. So we'll do 3-Color Scale, going from maybe a fairly dark green to a medium green, to a very light green. There's our scale. Click OK. Now click somewhere over here to deselect. So we have what we would expect from dark green to light green. But let's say, in addition to this, we wanted to flag any numbers lower than 100, and we wanted to make those very dark and make them stand out quite a lot.
So let's go back and select the data area. Now let's go back to Conditional Formatting and go down to Manage Rules. So here is where we can pile one row on top of another. So let's go over here and choose New Rule and take cells that only contain, and where it says, Cell Value, let's click this where it says between, and let's choose less than or equal to, and let's make it 100, and let's set a Format. We want bold text.
We want the color to be white. Let's go over here to Fill, and I'll go here to More Colors. I'll choose a very dark green. Click OK. Okay, there is our sample. Click OK. Now we have our two rules, and we can reorder the rules if we want. If we want to evaluate these low numbers after the Color Scale we can hit the down arrow, or vice versa, hit that up arrow. Also, you see where it says, Stop If True. What that means is after Excel does its initial analysis, we can stop processing rules for those cells that it flags.
So if it flags something that's less than 100, Excel won't go and override that with this other color scale. So click OK and deselect. Now we can see those very low numbers have been flagged in, reverse text, while all of the other numbers are in the automatic Color Scale. So if you want to do a quick comparison of numbers, but maybe you also have an idea of a certain range, a specific range that you want to flag, the new features here of Conditional Formatting, I think, will probably fit your bill.
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