Conditional formatting enable cells to appear with certain background colors, depending on their values.
For example, all positive values can appear with a green background, while negative values with red.
Actually, not only background colors can be applied (though they are the most popularly used), but many other styling effects too, such as font size, font color, bold, italic or underline, adding borders etc.
The rules you apply “stick” to the cells, so their format changes dynamically when their values change.
In the above example, if a cell had a positive value (and showed a green background) and then its value changed to negative, it will automatically become red.
More examples for Excel conditional formatting can be:
- Highlighting all values greater than $2000.
- Highlighting only the cell containing the highest value among a group of cells. (This could be relevant when you wish to highlight the highest score in the class, or highlight the highest salary in a company)
- Highlighting all duplicate values in a certain range (don’t you wish to easily find and locate annoying repeating values in a list?)