Monday, December 17, 2012

Color Code Your Data in Google Sheets

Ever have a need to color code your data in Google Sheets?

Here's an easy trick.

1. In Google Spreadsheet, go to the column you want to analyze.
2. Click on the drop-down menu to pull up the choices shown below and select "Conditional formatting."

3. A new window will pop up.

4. Create your rules.

Back in your spreadsheet, you'll see the data displayed in the colors you want.  

This is especially helpful if you have students fill out Google Forms and want to analyze the information they submit.  I use this trick when I ask students to evaluate each other, and I want to color-code their rating.


  1. Do you know if you can color code more then one column? If so, how do you do this?

  2. Yes, you would repeat the above steps for each column you want to color-code.

  3. How do you color code in a ranking system if you want the largest number to be green and the lowest number to be red, and the numbers will be changing?

    1. In March 2015, Google updated the functionality of Google Sheets to include gradient shades. Choose "Color scale" in conditional formatting. Here's a link to Google's Blog that explains how to do it: