Posts Tagged ‘emphasis of row data’

How to: Create greenbar spreadsheets

January 28th, 2013 1 comment

green_bar_paperCall me old school, but when I look at spreadsheets, I tend to favor the line contrast provided by the classic greenbar look from the days of the dot-matrix printer. In this how-to tutorial, we will go over how we can recreate this look with modern spreadsheet software without going about it line-by-line.

To begin, open a spreadsheet software like Excel or Libreoffice and follow the instructions noted in the caption.


Go straight to the picture portion for the tutorial aspect of this how-to. The writing that immediately follows is meant to explain the inner-workings of the MOD() function and the row() function that makes the highlight every-other-line in a spreadsheet trick work. MOD() function is a mathematical modulus function that will return a value of either 0 or 1.  The row() and column() function will return the current row number or column number, depending on which one is called. The combination of these two functions MOD(row(),2), will take the current row number, divide it by 2, and yield either a value of 0 or 1, which will trigger the conditional formating to select one or the other.

Because Microsoft products are supported by Visual Basic, whereas Libreoffice is of C++, Java, and Python lineage, there may be variations in the programming syntax. I hope this program toggling trick is useful for your highlight-every-other-line on a spreadsheet exercise.

greenbar step 1

Select all of the cells by clicking on the cell on the most upper-left hand corner of the table.

greenbar step 2

All cells in table selected.

greenbar step 3

Go to Format->Conditional Formatting

greenbar step 4

Enter into the input box the following formula: MOD(row();2). Try entering MOD(row(),2) for Microsoft Excel.

greenbar step 5

Change the background of the selected range if the mod(row();2) condition is met.

greenbar step 6

Voila! Greenbar galore.