Friday, September 28, 2007

Excel Conditional Formatting Examples

I recently got married and managed the excel file of all our guests, which is one of those tasks where spreadsheets are the very best tool choice. For each row, we had the name, address, phone, email, and number in party of the guest we sent an invite to. Then we had a column to indicate whether they were coming yet - yes, no, or that we had not yet received an invitation back.

Just writing that text into the column is trivial, but when you have longer sets of data (in this case, 120 invites or rows), using color can be a very effective mechanism of seeing trends. You can manually color the slides, or use conditional formatting, which is far easier and more elegant.

To get to conditional formatting you highlight the cell you want to use and then Format -> Conditional Formatting (Alt+O,D). Look at the attached excel file and you can see the formula that I've used to get the output that you see in the chart above.

Again, Juice Analytics has some nice additional examples of this.

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Friday, September 28, 2007