Make Automatically Color Coded Lists in Google Sheets

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Conditional formatting is one of the most powerful features of Google Sheets, and can be used for some pretty clever functions. In this tutorial we will create an automatically color coded spreadsheet with a column that changes cell color based on the different values entered.

1. Create a new spreadsheet and type some sample data. For this example let’s make a column of several repeating names.

We also entered ‘Nobody’ and ’12’ to test that it does not color code any incorrect values.

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.

2. Select the entire column and go to Format > Conditional Formatting

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.

 

3. For “Format Cells If..” choose “text contains.”

Type the text that you want to automatically turn colors. In this case we’ll use names.

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.

 

4. Instead of clicking ‘Done’ click ‘Add Another Rule’

and define the colors for other names/phrases that you will be using.

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.

 

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.

5. You’ll see that the cells with the corresponding text are now automatically color coded.

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.

 

As you add new names to the list, they will color code themselves after you hit enter or return.

Use the conditional formatting feature in Google Sheets to create automatically color coded to do lists, spreadsheets, and more.