How To Color Code In Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 1, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to color code in Google Sheets.

When you have a lot of data in a Google Sheet, it can be useful to color code cells in order to quickly identify certain categories of data. For example, you could color code based on the status of orders or on the worker a task is assigned to. You could go through each item on your list and manually color code each, but there’s a faster way. It’s possible to automatically color code cells in Google Sheets so the colors update whenever cell values change

Using Conditional Formatting to Color Code

With the conditional formatting features in Google Sheets, you can set up rules that define which cells will be formatted in a certain way

Follow these steps to color code with conditional formatting:

Step 1

Select the range you want to color code and open the Format menu, then choose Conditional Formatting

Step 2

In the Conditional Format Rules sidebar, under Format Cells If, choose Text is Exactly

Step 3

In the Value or Formula field, type the value you want to color code. Any selected cells containing this value will immediately highlight in the spreadsheet

Step 4

Under Formatting Style, select the fill color you’d like to use for these cells and the highlight color will update

Step 5

You can also change the text color, or apply bold, italic or underline formatting

Step 6

Click Done to save the conditional formatting rule

Step 7

If there are other values you’d like to color code, click on Add Another Rule in the Conditional Format Rules list and repeat the above steps


Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet

In this tutorial, I covered how to color code in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.