Modified 07 March 2017 by Ian Weatherhogg


Turn on colourful rows or columns via this neat Conditional Formatting trick

In Google Sheets the Conditional Formatting feature provides the ability to format cells if they meet certain conditions, such as if they contain a certain word or a number.

e.g. if a cell contains the string “Yes” make the background green, or “No” make the background red.

To access Conditional Formatting in a Google Sheet:

  • Click Format > Conditional formatting (A toolbar will open to the right)
  • Create a rule via Add a new rule
  • Use Apply to a range to select the range to be formatted
  • Under the Format cells if… drop down select Custom formula is (the last option)
  • In the box Value or formula use one of the following formulae:



Apply to Even Rows


Apply to Odd Rows


Apply to Even Columns


Apply to Odd Columns


Then select the Formatting style such as a colour.