Sometimes you need to make large spreadsheets easier to read. Alternating colors between rows is a good way to do it. Here’s how.

In Excel, assigning an alternating color scheme to rows is known as color banding.

Start by selecting the cells you want to apply color banding to. Or press [Ctrl][A] to select the entire sheet.

Next, select the Home tab on the Ribbon, select Styles and click Conditional Formatting.

A drop-down menu will display, click New Rule.

The New Formatting Rule dialog appears. Click the bottom option labeled Use a Formula to Determine Which Cells to Format.

In the empty format value field, copy and paste in the following formula:

=MOD(ROW()/2,1)>0

The New Formatting Rule window will look like this. Click Format.

Pick a fill color and click OK.

The New Formatting Rule windows will display the color Preview. Click OK.

The section of your spreadsheet will now be color banded.

If you want to change the color or add more cells, highlight the cells on the spreadsheet. Then on the Ribbon go to Conditional Formatting > > Manage Rules.

The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager window comes up. Click Edit Rule.

You’ll be taken back to the Edit Formatting Screen and can adjust accordingly.

Why not use the Format as Table button beside it to do it automaticaly, then turn the header off and select your banding style on the Design tab that appears?

I was thinking the same thing…there are much easier ways to do this, however conditional formatting is an amazing tool everyone using excel for presentation data should learn. Makes accounting and notable figures much more easy to find and work with.

There is an obvious typo in two places where the number 9 is inserted in place of the left parent (shift 9). Who hasn’t done that!

I question the formula. Use =mod(row()/2)>0. It works equally well and is less convoluted.

I used your formula and it didn’t work.

Oops, should be =mod(row(),2)>0

both formulas

=mod(row(),2)>0

=mod(row()/2,1)>0

are giving error message in MS office Pro 2010 ?????

I have been looking for a Windows application to automatically do it like an Excel addon.

Why not use the Format as Table button beside it to do it automaticaly, then turn the header off and select your banding style on the Design tab that appears?

I was thinking the same thing…there are much easier ways to do this, however conditional formatting is an amazing tool everyone using excel for presentation data should learn. Makes accounting and notable figures much more easy to find and work with.

Here is the correct formula ( separator is instead of )!

=MOD(ROW()/2;1)>0

thank you i just tried it and it worked thanx again

NP Nury – it’s a great trick I agree.

This really helped me a lot. I struggled with this for 1 hr could you be leave it.

Very nice tip!

way too complex, =iseven(row()) or =isodd(row())

does the same thing

Prior to XL2007, ISEVEN and ISODD required loading the Analysis Toolpak.

In the mod formula, the >0 part isn’t necessary. 0 will evaluate to FALSE and any non-zero number will evaluate to TRUE, therefore;

=MOD(ROW(),2)

will suffice.

If you want to start with a blank row, instead of a filled row, just subtract 1 in the formula:

=MOD(ROW(),2)-1

if error occurs

should be a “;” instead of a “,” in the formula between row() & 2….

so. =mod(row();2)=0