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Excel is getting better Conditional Formatting with much needed improvements

Excel’s Conditional Formatting is getting two small but much needed changes that will make it a lot easier to use.

According to Microsoft, the latest Insiders releases of Excel 365 for Windows has two changes to the Conditional Formatting Manager dialog.


The dialog is now resizable from the handle at bottom right.

That means you can show more rules and extend the width to show more details of each rule.

Duplicate Rule

At long, long last, there’s a way to copy an existing rule to be edited for a slightly different need.

Select a rule from the list, click Duplicate Rule and a copy will be added. Then edit the copied rule to suit.

Microsoft will boast about this new feature, but they really should hang their corporate heads in shame.

Duplicate Rule should have been in Conditional Formatting from the it’s first iteration back in Excel 2007. It’s taken Redmond 13 years to listen to their customers is something that does them no credit at all.

Which version?

Yet again there’s a disconnect between what Microsoft says is in an Insiders release and what Insiders get.

According to Microsoft, the extra Conditional Formatting features are in Office Insider for Windows versions 2011 Build 13426.20004 at 30 October 2020.

We finally saw the new Conditional Formatting dialog (image above) in a slightly later version 2012 build 13510.20004 (mid-Nov 2020).

It’s not the first time this has happened. Just one of the little mysteries that Insiders have to put up with.

For most Excel 365 users, it’s something to look forward to.  When you’re using Excel Conditional Formatting, keep an eye out for the ‘Duplicate Rule’ button.

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