How to Use the Excel Color Scale Based on Text – 2 Examples

This is an overview.

Overview of color scale based on text

Color Scales and How to Add Them in Excel

Select the column and add color scales:

  • Go to Home>>Conditional Formatting>>Color Scales and Select a Color Scale.

Basic Color Scale

Issues with Adding Color Scales Based on Text Values in Excel

You can only use color scales with numbers. For texts, use the conditional formatting.

This is the sample dataset.

Dataset for color scale based on text

Example 1 – Color Scales Based on a Unique Text

Use the UNIQUE function.

  • Find the unique value in the dataset by using the following formula:
  • Press Shift+Enter.

Finding Unique Value

  • Select the “Category” column and select Conditional Formatting.

Adding Conditional formatting

  • Select New Rule.

Adding New Rule

  • Use new rules:

F5 is the unique value “Housing” and it will change the format when text in $B5:$B15 equals its value.

Giving Rules

  • In the Format Cells box, select light green to fill the cell.

Format Cells

  • Click OK in both Format Cells and New Formatting Rule.

Formatting cells containing housing

  • This is the output.

Finally for housing

  • Create individual rules for each unique category.

Finall output of color scale using unique text

  • The whole dataset displays color scales based on text.

Final Dataset

Read More: Color Scale Per Row with Conditional Formatting in Excel

Example 2 – Color Scales Based on Text Length

  • Select the Category column and select Conditional Formatting.

Selecting cell formatting for length

  • Select New Rule.

Adding New Rule

  • Enter the following condition for the length.

Formatting Cell for length

  • Select dark blue in Fill.
  • Create individual length formulas in New Formula.

After adding all condition cell length

  • This is the output.

Final Output of length condition

How to Add Color Scales Without Values in Excel

  • Add color scales to the cells.

Adding color scale for hiding the data later

  • Press Ctrl+1 to open Format cells.
  • Select Number>>Custom>>Type and insert ;;; to hide all data in the column.

Hiding Data value

  • This is the output.

Finally hiding data

How to Add 3-Color Scale in Conditional Formatting

  • Select the expenses column and press Alt+O+D to open the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager.

Setting up a new rule for 3 scale color

  • Select Format all cells based on their values and click the drop-down button to select 3-Color Scale.
  • Choose a color set.

New Rule and Color Selection

  • This is the output.

Final 3 scale color scale

Read More: Conditional Formatting with 3 Color Scale in Excel Formula

Frequently Asked Question

Q: In Excel, can I make my own unique color swatches for text values?

A: Custom color scales for text values can be made in Excel. Select “More Rules” at the bottom of the dropdown menu after choosing “Color Scales” in the Conditional Formatting menu. Create your own rules.

Q: Can I use color gradations on individual words rather than the entire cell?

A: The Excel Color Scale option only applies to whole cells. To apply formatting to a specific text within a cell, utilize Conditional Formatting.

Download Practice Workbook

Download the Excel workbook.

Related Articles

<< Go Back to Conditional Formatting | Learn Excel

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!
Joyanta Mitra
Joyanta Mitra

Joyanta Mitra, a BSc graduate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, has dedicated over a year to the ExcelDemy project. Specializing in programming, he has authored and modified 60 articles, predominantly focusing on Power Query and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). His expertise in VBA programming is evident through the substantial body of work he has contributed, showcasing a deep understanding of Excel automation, and enhancing the ExcelDemy project's resources with valuable... Read Full Bio

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF