Using Excel or Google Sheets can significantly boost your productivity. If you’ve been using a spreadsheet tool for a while, you probably know plenty of formatting and formula tricks. However, you might not be aware of some of the more visually appealing ways to manipulate an online spreadsheet. Whether you’re using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, you can easily change the colors of cells, add column colors, and more with just a few clicks. Keep reading to discover how to alternate row color in Excel and Google Sheets.
How to Change Row Color in Excel
For those using Microsoft Excel, there are a couple of methods to alternate row colors. The most straightforward way is to format your sheet as a table with the selected rows highlighted. Alternatively, you can use a formula to modulate the colors in a spreadsheet. In this article, we will guide you through both methods.
How to Change Row Color in Excel using Table Settings
The simplest way to customize Excel’s row color is to format your sheet as a table. Follow these steps:
- Select and highlight the cells you want to format. If you want the entire spreadsheet to alternate colors, press Control + A (or Command + A on an Apple computer) simultaneously.
- Go to the “Home” tab and click “Format as Table.” This will format the entire sheet as a table, without affecting any previous formatting or formulas you’ve added.
- When you click “Format as Table,” choose a table style that automatically applies alternate shading. You can select any color available or personalize it with your preferred color.
Note: This process is the easiest way to add color to alternate rows in Excel. If you prefer to color-code your columns instead, you can make this adjustment in “Table Tools.” Under the “Design” tab, select “Banded Columns” instead of “Banded Rows,” and the sheet will automatically make the change!
How to Change Row Color in Excel with a Formula
Another common method to create an alternate row color Excel sheet is to use conditional formatting. This method is slightly more complex but equally effective as table settings. It also allows for more individual color or pattern choices compared to the pre-designed tables. Here’s how you can do it:
- Select the range of cells you want to edit. To alternate rows throughout the entire spreadsheet, select the entire sheet.
- Go to the “Home” tab and look for “Conditional Formatting” under the “Styles” section. This option lets you format each row individually or use a formula to format all the rows or columns in the document.
- Click on “Use a formula to determine which cells to format” and enter the formula =MOD(ROW(),2).
- Choose the color you want and click “OK.” Your table should now be properly formatted with alternating colors!
Note: To alternate columns instead, use COLUMN instead of ROW in the formula. You can also modify the number to determine the number of shaded columns or rows. This method works well for making other alterations and doesn’t require your spreadsheet to be formatted as a table. It is also applicable for alternating row color in Excel 2010.
How to Change Row Color in Google Sheets
Many businesses and organizations use Google Sheets instead of Excel. It’s free, accessible on any computer, and offers similar features and functions. Google Sheets provides two different ways to alternate column or row colors: the preset method and conditional formatting.
How to Change Row Color in Google Sheets
Google has made it easy to customize the design and color of spreadsheets. If you’re using Google Sheets, you can customize almost everything about your sheet without worrying about formulas and complex formatting. Follow these simple steps to create alternate row color in Google Sheets:
- Select the cells you want to change. To edit the entire spreadsheet, press “Command + A” or “Control + A” on your keyboard.
- Find the “Format” tab at the top of the page and click on it.
- Scroll down to the “Alternating colors” section near the bottom of the drop-down menu. Choose your preferred style and colors. You can alternate one color with white or pick two different colors to alternate between.
- Click “Done” and make sure to save your document (Google Docs automatically saves unless you’re offline).
Note: If you prefer to include a header or footer in your table, you can find those options in the “Alternating colors” menu panel. The header and footer will appear darker than the shaded rows to help differentiate them.
How to Change Row Colors in Google Sheets with Conditional Formatting
While Google Sheets offers a convenient and easy method to format table rows, you might want more personalization. If you want to color every third row or have alternate column colors on your Google Sheets page, you’ll need to use conditional formatting. Follow these steps for more individualized formatting:
- Find the “Format” tab and click on “Conditional formatting.” It is located just above “Alternating colors” and will take you to the proper place to input your formula and customize the cells on your spreadsheet.
- Select the range you want to format. For the entire document, enter “A1:Z100” into the “Apply to range” box.
- Under “Format cells if…,” choose “Custom formula is” and prepare to enter your formula.
- Enter the custom formula. The most common formulas are =ISEVEN(ROW()) for coloring even rows and =ISODD(ROW()) for odd rows. However, there are more options (see the note below) for other variations.
- Choose the fill color (paint bucket icon) and click “Save.” The formatting will apply to the selected cells, and Google Sheets will automatically apply the same format to any added rows.
Note: If you want to color every third row, input =MOD(ROW(),3)=0 instead of using the odd or even row formula. You can adjust the number depending on how many spaces you want between row colors. For columns, replace ROW with COLUMN.
1. How can I change row colors in Excel using table settings?
To change row colors in Excel using table settings, follow these steps:
- Select and highlight the cells you want to format.
- Go to the “Home” tab, click “Format as Table,” and choose a table style with alternate row shading.
2. What’s the advantage of formatting Excel tables for alternate row colors?
Formatting Excel tables allows for easy application and updating of alternate row colors, enhancing readability and organization in your spreadsheet.
3. How do I use a formula to change row colors in Excel?
To use a formula for changing row colors in Excel, follow these steps:
- Select the range of cells you want to format.
- Go to the “Home” tab, click “Conditional Formatting,” choose “New Rule,” and use the formula =MOD(ROW(),2).
- Select a color and apply the formatting.
4. Can I use a similar method to change column colors in Excel?
Yes, you can use a formula like =MOD(COLUMN(),2) to change column colors in Excel.
5. How do I change row colors in Google Sheets without formulas?
To change row colors in Google Sheets without formulas, follow these steps:
- Select the cells you want to format.
- Go to the “Format” tab, choose “Alternating colors,” and customize your color scheme.
6. What is conditional formatting, and how can I use it to change row colors in Google Sheets?
Conditional formatting allows for customizable row colors based on specific conditions. To use conditional formatting for changing row colors:
- Go to the “Format” tab, select “Conditional formatting,” specify your range, and use custom formulas like =ISEVEN(ROW()) for even rows and =ISODD(ROW()) for odd rows.
7. Can I create more complex row color patterns using conditional formatting in Google Sheets?
Yes, you can create complex row color patterns in Google Sheets using custom conditional formatting formulas like =MOD(ROW(),3)=0 to color every third row. For alternating column colors, use =ISEVEN(COLUMN()) and =ISODD(COLUMN()).
8. Are there any differences in changing row colors between Excel and Google Sheets?
The general concept of changing row colors is similar in both Excel and Google Sheets, but specific steps and formula syntax may vary slightly between the two applications.
9. How do I ensure that newly added rows in Google Sheets maintain the same formatting?
In Google Sheets, when you apply conditional formatting for changing row colors, the formatting is automatically applied to new rows as you add them.
10. Are there any advantages to using table settings over conditional formatting for changing row colors?
Using table settings in Excel is easier and more user-friendly for changing row colors, especially for beginners. Conditional formatting provides more advanced customization options, but it may require a better understanding of formulas.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to change row or column colors in Excel and Google Sheets. This will help you better organize and categorize items, making your sheet easier to read and understand. For more Excel and Google Sheets tips and tricks, visit our blog.
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