Article updated on September 01, 2006

Making your sheets easy to read is a fundamental approach of creating sheets. Your message must be crystal clear. A misinterpreted sheet can be devastating. A sheet must be easy to read and follow.

The above picture is an example of a simple sheet with some random numbers. It is really hard to follow let us say Kiwis monthly numbers to the right. Scrolling and larger columns is also a toublemaker for readers. Sheets printed out on paper has the same problem.


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To make every other row colored in excel is easy. Select "Format" and "Conditional formatting..." in the menu, shown in the picture to the left.

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Change to "Formula is" in the Conditional formatting window. And type in the next box: =MOD(ROW();2)=0. Press the format box and change to tab "Patterns". Choose a color. Press "OK" twice.


The final result with some easy text formatting and positioning.