Microsoft Excel offers a powerful suite of features in the Conditional Formatting menu. These include a variety of rules designed to drive visual analysis of your data. These are pre-built options that come with your Excel installation. But sometimes, it’s helpful to create your own custom rules to format data exactly how you need it. Let’s learn how to create a new formatting rule in Microsoft Excel.
How to Create a New Formatting Rule in Excel
Imagine a list of data containing a series of values. Imagine that you want to highlight values falling in the lower 50% of the dataset, and you want to use custom colors. You could choose from a default rule in Conditional Formatting, or you could create your own new formatting rule.
To begin, click and drag your cursor to select the data. Here, the range is D1:D6. Then, navigate to the Home tab, which you’ll find as the default option on Excel’s ribbon. Over on the right side, click on the Conditional Formatting dropdown.
You’ll see an array of options here, most centered around the variety of included presets. To add a new formatting rule, click on New Rule.
Excel will launch the New Formatting Rule menu. Here, you have many styles to choose from. In the Style dropdown, you can specify how to visually organize your data. Below, you can specify minimum and maximum values, along with their type. Here, you can change the Type to Percent, and then input custom numbers in the Value boxes.
Finally, you can choose a custom color scheme for your new formatting rule. When you’re finished, click OK. Excel will add the new formatting rule to your data.
As you can see, new formatting rules are the perfect way to run custom visual analysis steps on any dataset quickly.