Skip to content

4. Visualize Project Status with Conditional Formatting

Playback speed:

In this video, you will change the color of cells and text in your project tracker, so you can quickly see how your project is progressing.

To do this, you will use conditional formatting.

Conditional formatting formats cells a certain way if they contain specific information.

You will use conditional formatting to change the color of the cells and text in the status column if the status of the task matches certain criteria.

To start, highlight the cells in the status column down to the end of your task list.

From the format menu, select “conditional formatting.”

The cells you highlighted show up in the box as the “range.”

Next, create the “if” part of the conditional by choosing the condition that must be met for the formatting to occur.

In this case, the cell should look different depending on the text contained in the cell.

Choose “text contains” from the menu.

Type in one of the status choices from your data validation list.

These choices come from the data validation you created in the previous activity.

Under “formatting style,” choose a color to go with that status.

To continue conditional formatting, add a new rule.

This time, type a different status from the data validation list into the box, and choose a different color.

Repeat this process for each status in the list.

If you have more than three items in the data validation list or you would like to use different colors, choose a custom color option.

Or, change the look of the text instead of the color of the cell.

To do this, create a new rule.

Then, choose a custom format for the text.

Delete a rule if you make a mistake or no longer need it.

Use the drop-down menu to change the status of each.

The cells display different background and text colors.

It works!

You can now get a quick visual of how your project is progressing.

Now, it’s your turn: Use conditional formatting to change the colors and text in your project tracker based on task status.

Change the status of your tasks.


  1. Use conditional formatting.
  2. Change colors and text based on status.
  3. Change task status to activate formatting.