Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Shade Alternate Rows

Shade Alternate Rows

Looking for a way to simulate that nerdy green-banded computer paper on screen? Look no further. Excel's Conditional Formatting feature has many uses, and here's one that's particularly handy. Conditional Formatting makes it simple to apply cell shading (green or otherwise) to every other row in a worksheet range. For a lengthy list, shading alternate rows can improve legibility.

Here's how to do it:

1. Highlight the range of cells or rows or columns that you want to format.

2. Choose Format, Conditional Formatting to display the Conditional Formatting dialog box.

3. Select Formula Is from the first drop-down list box, and enter =MOD(ROW(),2)=0 in the second box.

4. Click the Format button to bring up the Format Cells dialog box.

5. Select the Patterns tab and specify a color for the shaded rows. You'll probably want to choose a light color, so that the default black text will still be legible. Or, you can go all out and change the text color as well (do this in the Font tab of the Format Cells dialog box). For example, you might select a dark blue background, accompanied by a mellow yellow text color.

6. Click OK twice to return to your worksheet.

The best part is that the row shading is dynamic: The alternate row shading persists even if you insert or delete rows within the original range. By the way, if get tired of this new look and want to get things back to normal, just select the range, choose Format, Conditional Formatting, and click the Delete button in the Conditional Formatting dialog box.


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