How to Use Google Sheets Conditional Formatting

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If you're trying to make a large spreadsheet easier to read, you'll likely want to format certain items to highlight what's important for the reader. While you could go in and format each cell by hand, Google Sheets allows you to automate this task with Conditional Formatting Rules.

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You can set up a variety of rules for Sheets to obey, including determining whether a cell is empty or not, if it contains a date that is before or after a specific point in time or if it contains text that starts or ends with a particular phrase. Here are our step-by-step instructions for how to use conditional formatting in Google Sheets.

MORE: How to Wrap Text in Google Sheets

1. Select cells you want to apply conditional formatting to.conditional01

2. Click Format.conditional02

3. Select Conditional formatting.conditional03

4. Click Cell is not empty.conditional045. Select an option for what kinds of conditions will trigger formatting. You can set cells to be formatted if they contain a particular string of text, a specific date or if they call between a certain range of numbers. conditional05

6. Enter the value your condition refers to.  If you chose Cell is empty or Cell is not empty, will skip this step.conditional06

7. Click Default and select a formatting style to apply to the cells.

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8. Click Done.


Your Google Sheets spreadsheet now follows conditional formatting rules.


Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
After graduating from Bard College a B.A. in Literature, Henry T. Casey worked in publishing and product development at Rizzoli and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, respectively. Henry joined Tom's Guide and LAPTOP having written for The Content Strategist, Tech Radar and Patek Philippe International Magazine. He divides his free time between going to live concerts, listening to too many podcasts, and mastering his cold brew coffee process. Content rules everything around him.
Henry T. Casey, on
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