Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 4: Chartless Visualization Techniques
Figure 4-13 illustrates how each cell is formatted with a symbol indicating each cell’s value based on
the other cells.
Figure 4-13: Conditional formatting with icon sets.
Adding your own formatting rules manually
You don’t have to use one of the predefined options offered by Excel. Excel gives you the flexibility to
create your own formatting rules manually. Creating your own formatting rule helps you better
control how cells are formatted and allows you to do things you can’t do with the predefined options.
For example, a useful conditional formatting rule is to tag all above-average values with a Check icon,
whereas all below-average values get an X icon, as shown in Figure 4-14.
Figure 4-14: With a custom formatting rule, you can tag the above-average values with a check and the
belowaverage values with an X.
Although the above average and below average options built into Excel allow you to
format cell and font attributes, they don’t enable the use of icon sets. You can imagine
why icon sets will be better on a dashboard than just color variances. Icons and shapes
do a much better job at conveying your message, especially when your dashboard is
printed in black and white.