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Add Color to Your Formulas

This article presents a simple but powerful idea.

Add color to the cells that contain formulas in your spreadsheet.

That’s it. It’s as simple as that. Do this, and your spreadsheet design just got that much better!

If you’re curious as to why then keep on reading.

Why Add Color to Your Formulas?

It’s a great idea to add color to the cells that contain formulas for one major reason. The color will distinguish these cells from the rest.

Knowing which cells contain formulas will go a long way in preventing you from accidentally erasing them. When you aren’t sure which cells contain formulas, it can be all too easy to type over them.

Of course, you can always click the undo button. But what happens when you don’t even realize you erased the formula and then save and close the spreadsheet?

Bad things. Bad things happen!

You open the spreadsheet a day or two later. It’s totally not working right. And you have no idea why.

The undo button can’t save you now. The damage has already been done.

This is why it is so important to distinguish your formula cells from all the others. You don’t want to accidentally write over a vital formula and break your entire spreadsheet.

How to Add Color to Your Formulas

So how do you actually add color to your formula cells? Well, there are two main things you can do.

You can add a fill color to the cell or change the color of the text. Let’s look at adding a fill color first.

To add a fill color to a cell, follow the steps below.

Start by selecting the cell or cells you want to add a fill color to.

Next, use the Ribbon in Excel or Toolbar in Google Sheets to apply the fill color of your choice.

Ok, how about changing the color of the text? To change the text color, follow the steps below.

Start by selecting the cell or cells you want to add a fill color to.

Next, use the Ribbon in Excel or Toolbar in Google Sheets to apply the text color of your choice.

It’s really as easy as one, two…yep, just two.

As simple as it is, this one idea will go a long way in making your spreadsheet design that much better!

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. This is so smart, I feel like I should have thought about this sooner! Quick question: can you do this with conditional formatting by chance? Just wondering!

    1. What an awesome question! The short answer is yes, you can.

      When creating your conditional formatting rule, you would have to choose the Use a formula to determine which cells to format option. Then for your formula, you would need to use the ISFORMULA function. This will check to see if the cell(s) contain a formula and will return TRUE if they do. Then the conditional formatting will be applied.

      I hope this helps!

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