Add drop-down list in Google Sheets is a simple trick that can make it exponentially easier for collaborators to populate data from a handy drop-down list (instead of having to enter everything manually). This can also prevent users from entering the wrong information in an important field in your spreadsheet.
You can use another nifty trick to help highlight these cells once a collaborator has created a section. That trick is called Conditional Formatting.
What is conditional formatting?
Simply put, conditional formatting formats a cell based on specific conditions. In the example I’ll show you, conditional formatting adds a background color to a cell based on the color selected from the drop-down menu. For example, if red is selected from the drop-down menu, the background color for that cell will automatically be red, you guessed it, red.
Of course, you’re not limited to just adding color to your cells, as you can also use other (basic) formatting, such as bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, and change the color. of text.
Conditional formatting also allows you to apply formatting based on certain conditions, such as:
- If a cell is/not empty.
- Contains (or does not contain) specific text or formulas.
- Text starts/ends with specific text or formula.
- Greater than, less than, or equal to.
You can add a single rule or even multiple rules to your conditional formatting.
Let’s see how this is done.
Add conditional formatting to the drop-down list
Remember, in the tutorial on adding a dropdown, we created a list of the following colors:
Now we will use conditional formatting to set the background color of the cell based on the selected color. So if the collaborator chooses green from the dropdown, the background color of the cell will be set to green.
When you click on conditional formatting, you’ll see a new sidebar on the right side of the window.
And that, my fellow Google Sheets users, is how you add conditional formatting to a drop-down list. You’re not limited to the drop-down menu for this feature as you can apply it to any type of call (and even a range of cells). Enjoy the fresh taste of automatic formatting.