Excel Colour scales in cells

You can also use Conditional Formatting to add some colour scales to a set of values. For example, in the image below we have some Celsius temperatures:

An Excel spreadsheet row with temperature values

Wouldn't it be nice if we could colour the cells, based on the temperatures? You can do that with Colour Scales.

Create the column of values in the image above. Highlight the values from E2 to E9. On the Home tab of the Excel ribbon, locate the Styles panel. Click Conditional Formatting > Colour Scales:

Conditional Formatting menu showing the coloe scales option

You can select one of the colour scales from the sub menu, if you like. But the colours are not quite the ones we want for a temperature scale. So click the More Rules entry at the bottom of the menu to see the following dialogue box appear:

The dialogue box shows a 2-Color Scale, which is OK. Click the Color dropdown list under the Minimum heading and select a blue colour:

For the Maximum colour, select and Orange or red colour:

Click OK on the dialogue box when you're happy with your two colours. Your selected cells will then look something like this:

Here, you can quickly pick out the cold colours from the warmer ones.


In the next lesson, we'll have a look at placing icons in cells.