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3. Create a Color Palette with Conditional Formatting

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In the previous video, you set up your spreadsheet as a grid and found an image to inspire your work.

In this video, you will use conditional formatting to add color to your project.

Conditional formatting changes how cells appear when values meet specific conditions.

A value is a number or text -- data -- entered into a cell.

Formatting changes how data appear.

Common formatting includes bold or italicized text, cell borders, and cell background colors.

Conditions are rules that determine what data are formatted and when.

Conditional formatting applies formatting to data that meet specific conditions or rules.

To get started, add a conditional formatting rule.

Begin by selecting all the cells in your spreadsheet.

Then, open conditional formatting.

Check the range.

A is the first column, and one is the first row of the range.

Z is the last column, and one thousand is the last row of the range.

There are many rules you can use to format cells.

Some apply to a specific value while others include more than one value.

Some common rules apply formatting to a cell when that cell value is equal to, greater than, or less than a set value, although there are endless possibilities.

For this project, select is equal to.

Enter a number, and select a fill color for that value.

Then, test the rule in your sheet by typing the number into several cells.


Your first color is ready to use.

Now, repeat the process to add more rules for more colors.

Choose your own colors, or use colors from your sample image.

You can easily change your palette later if you change your mind.

Each rule you create adds a single new color, so if you set five rules for five numbers, you will have five colors.

Make sure all the cells in your spreadsheet are still selected.

Then, add another new rule.

Select is equal to.

Enter the number you want to use, and set the fill color.

Continue until you’ve added a rule for every color that you want to add.

When you have added a rule for every color in your image, test your rules by entering your numbers directly in the cells to paint in your spreadsheet.

Good job. You’re ready to complete your masterpiece!

Now, it’s your turn.

Select all the cells in your spreadsheet.

Open conditional formatting.

Create a rule for each color in your image, and check your work by adding colors to your project.


  1. Select all the cells in your spreadsheet.
  2. Open conditional formatting.
  3. Create a rule for each color in your image.
  4. Check your work by adding colors to your project.