Conditional Formatting

Level: Intermediate

Available Durations:

  • 50 minutes
  • 60 minutes
  • 75 minutes
  • 90 minutes
  • 100 minutes
  • 120 minutes


Conditional Formatting is one of the most powerful, yet sometimes, the most frustrating features in Excel. In this presentation, Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA, delves deep into the nuances of Conditional Formatting. Techniques David covers range from simple color-coding to sophisticated techniques, such as highlighting every other row or formatting a set of cells based on amounts in other cells. Note: This pairs well with David’s “Filtering and Slicing Data” webcast.

David demonstrates every technique at least twice: first, on a PowerPoint slide with numbered steps, and second, in the subscription-based Microsoft 365 (formerly known as Office 365) version of Excel. David will draw your attention to any differences in the older versions of Excel (2019, 2016, 2013, and earlier) during the presentation as well as in his detailed handouts. David also provides an Excel workbook that includes most of the examples he uses during the webcast.

Microsoft 365 is a subscription-based product that is sometimes updated as often as monthly with new features. The perpetual licensed versions of Excel have year numbers, such as 2019, 2016, and so on, have feature sets frozen in time and do not receive updates with new features.

Topics/Areas Typically Covered:

  • Filtering lists of data based on cell icons applied via Conditional Formatting.
  • Using the Reapply command to remove items that are no longer duplicated within a list.
  • Crafting custom Conditional Formatting rules that highlight alternating sets of rows, such as every other five rows.
  • Formatting certain words within a column of text with Conditional Formatting.
  • Removing Conditional Formatting when it’s no longer needed within a spreadsheet.
  • Color-coding the top ten (or however many you wish) amounts within a column of numbers with Conditional Formatting.
  • Illustrating numbers within a list by using the Icon Sets Conditional Formatting.
  • Avoiding frustration by understanding the nuances between Enter and Edit modes.
  • Gaining control of long lists of data by filtering instead of sorting.
  • Using Conditional Formatting to color-code your data, identify duplicates, and apply icons.
  • Using Conditional Formatting to identify unlocked cells into which data can be entered.
  • Controlling two or more Conditional Formatting rules by way of the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager.

Learning Objectives/Why You Should Attend:

  • State on which menu the Conditional Formatting command appears.
  • Describe the purpose of the Reapply command in Excel.
  • Recall which Conditional Formatting feature fills cells with color that’s sized commensurate with the underlying cell values.

Target Industries:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Business
  • Excel Users
  • Consulting
  • IT
  • Auditing
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Government
  • Tax

Target Job Title:

  • Accountants
  • CPAs
  • CFOs
  • Controllers
  • Income Tax Preparers
  • Enrolled Agents
  • Financial Consultants
  • IT Professionals
  • Auditors
  • Human Resource Personnel
  • Bookkeepers
  • Excel Users
  • Marketers
  • Government Personnel

About the Instructor:

David H. Ringstrom, CPA is the owner of Accounting Advisors, Inc., an Atlanta-based spreadsheet consulting firm that he started in 1991. Throughout his career David has spoken at conferences on Microsoft Excel, and written dozens of freelance articles about spreadsheets. He offers Excel and Access training and consulting services nationwide.
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