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How to conditionally format OpenOffice spreadsheet cells [Guide]

The freeware OpenOffice spreadsheet application, which you add to your Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, Mac OS X or Linux software library from this website [1], is one with a variety of formatting options. Among them is a conditional formatting option, which applies certain formatting to cells based on a condition. For example, a condition could be if you input a number more than, less, than or equal to 10. Then that would trigger a change in the background color of the cell where you input the number.

To add conditional formatting to your spreadsheet, you must first set the formatting for a cell. Click on Format and Styles and Formatting to open the window in the shot below. It is there you can add new cell formatting based on a specific condition.

Conditional Formatting 2 [2]

Click on the New Styles from Selection option, and then add a formatting such as Turn Red. That would be suitable if the formatting will turn the cell red. Then right-click Turn Red, or whatever you added, and select Modify to open the window below.

Conditional Formatting 3 [3]

From that window you can set up all sorts of conditional cell formatting. To switch the cell color to red, click the Background tab and then a suitable color from the palette. Then click OK to save the formatting.

Click a cell, or select a group of cells on the spreadsheet, to add the conditional formatting to. Then click Format > Conditional Formatting to open the window below. It is there that you input the conditions for the formatting.

Conditional Formatting 4 [4]

Click on the Condition 1 check-box, and select Cell value is from the drop-down list on the far left of the window. Choose a suitable condition from the adjacent drop-down list such as greater than. Then type in a value such as 10 in the text box. In the shot below, I have set a condition which will change the formatting of the cell when a number greater than 10 is put in the cells.

Conditional Formatting 5 [5]

Then you should select some formatting for the cells from the Cell Style drop-down list. Choose the new formatting that you added, such as Turn Red, and then click OK. Return to the spreadsheet, and input a value into the cell that will alter the formatting based on the condition that you added. In the spreadsheet below, the selected cells turn red when I input a value higher than 10 in them.

Conditional Formatting [6]

Conditional formatting options add considerable flexibility to spreadsheets. With conditional formatting you can add variable formatting to a spreadsheet based on its cell content to highlight if specific values are reached, fallen below, equaled etc. Software such as Excel also have comparable options.