Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Changing the appearance of data**

You can create two types of data bars in Excel 2013: solid fill and gradient fill. When data

bars were introduced in Excel 2007, they filled cells with a color band that decreased in

intensity as it moved across the cell. This gradient fill pattern made it a bit difficult to

determine the relative length of two data bars because the end points weren’t as distinct as

they would have been if the bars were a solid color. In Excel 2013, you can choose between

a solid fill pattern, which makes the right edge of the bars easier to discern, and a gradient

fill, which you can use if you share your workbook with colleagues who use Excel 2007.

Excel also draws data bars differently than was done in Excel 2007. Excel 2007 drew a very

short data bar for the lowest value in a range and a very long data bar for the highest

value. The problem was that similar values could be represented by data bars of very

different lengths if there wasn’t much variance among the values in the conditionally formatted

range. In Excel 2013, data bars compare values based on their distance from zero, so similar

values are summarized by using data bars of similar lengths.

TIP
Excel 2013 data bars summarize negative values by using bars that extend to the left of

a baseline that the program draws in a cell. You can control how your data bars summarize

negative values by clicking the Negative Value And Axis button, which can be accessed

from either the New Formatting Rule dialog box or the Edit Formatting Rule dialog box.

Color scales compare the relative magnitude of values in a cell range by applying colors

from a two-color or three-color set to your cells. The intensity of a cell’s color reflects the

value’s tendency toward the top or bottom of the values in the range.

Icon sets are collections of three, four, or five images that Excel displays when certain rules

are met.