Excel data bar: Highlighting cells with data bars

Excel data bar: YOUR OBJECTIVE

You have entered revenue figures into an Excel sheet and want to visually highlight the cells using data bars.

In this learning module “ excel data bar ” you will learn how to visually highlight cells using data bars and what you have to pay attention to.


The extensive Conditional Formatting and the option to visually highlight and analyze cells with data bars is new to Excel. The length of a data bar corresponds to the value of the cell. This type of Conditional Formatting is particularly useful when you want to analyze values where the relationship of the values to each other is more important than the values themselves.

To add data bars to the cells of a data range, select the data range first:

Then click the button in the Styles group on the Home tab to open the following drop-down menu:


Move your cursor over the excel data barcommand:

A submenu containing twelve different design options opens:


View how your format will affect the selected cell range in the live preview. Simply move your cursor over the different formatting options. 


Click on the option you want to apply to the cells. The length of the data bar corresponds to the value in the cell. A long bar represents a high value, a short bar represents a low value:



You can of course also delete a Conditional Formatting. Click the Conditional Formatting button on the Home tab and select the Clear Rules command.


Previous Excel versions do not support this Conditional Formatting feature. Excel data bars are not displayed when you open the file with a previous Excel version in the compatibility mode.


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