How to Highlight Minimum & Maximum Values in Excel

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Microsoft Excel's conditional formatting tool changes the color of cells that obey certain conditions. You can, for instance, highlight cells that contain a particular value or whose contents are greater or less than a particular value. One of the most common uses for this highlighting function involves marking the highest and lowest segments of a range, and you can extend this application to highlighting the range's single highest and lowest numbers.

  • Click the cell at one end of the range that you are analyzing.

  • Drag the mouse to the cell at the other end, selecting the entire range.

  • Click "Conditional Formatting" from the "Styles" tab of the "Home" ribbon. A drop-down menu will open.

  • Click "New Rule..." from the bottom of the list.

  • Click "Format only top or bottom ranked values" from the "Select a Rule Type" pane.

  • Select "Top" from the first of the drop-down boxes in the "Edit the Rule Description" pane.

  • Type "1" into the text box in the "Edit the Rule Description" pane.

  • Click the "Format" button, which opens the "Format Cells" dialog box.

  • Click the color that you want to use to highlight the maximum value. Click "OK."

  • Click "OK" in the "New Formatting Rule" dialog box. The range's maximum value will now appear highlighted in the color you chose.

  • Repeat Steps 1 through 5.

  • Select "Bottom" from the first of the drop-down boxes in the "Edit the Rule Description" pane.

  • Repeat Steps 7 and 8.

  • Choose a different color to represent the range's minimum value. Click "OK."

  • Click "OK" in the "New Formatting Rule" dialog box. The range's minimum value will now appear highlighted as well.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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