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Color coding Yes or No drop-down list in Excel

Author: Kelly Last Modified: 2024-07-11

In Excel, creating a YES or NO dropdown list with color coding can significantly enhance the user experience, making data input both intuitive and visually engaging. This functionality is particularly useful in forms, surveys, and interactive dashboards where quick and clear responses are required. This guide will demonstrate two methods to achieve this: using Conditional Formatting for a customized approach and utilizing an advanced tool for added convenience and efficiency.

Create YES or ON drop down list with color with Conditional Formatting

If you want to create a YES or NO drop down list with color in Excel, please do as follows:

1. Select the list you will fill with the YES or NO drop down list, and click Data > Data Validation > Data Validation. See screenshot:
doc excel yes no drop down list with color 01

2. In the Data Validation dialog, under the Settings tab, please select List from the Allow drop down list, type Yes,No in the Source box, and click the OK button. See screenshot:

Now you have added a YES or NO drop down list in the selected list. Please go ahead to add color for the drop down list.

3. Select the table without header row, and click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule. See screenshot:

4. In the New Formatting Rule dialog, please (1) click to highlight the Use a formula to determine which cells to format option in the Select a Rule Type list box; (2) type =$C2="Yes" in the Format values where this formula is true box, and (3) click the Format button. See screenshot:
Note: In the formula =$C2="Yes", $C2 is the first cell with YES or NO drop down list, and you can change it as you need.

5. In the Format Cells dialog, please enable the Fill tab, specify a background color, and click the OK button successively to close both dialogs.

Now when you click the cells in the specified list, it will pop out the YES or NO drop down list. And when you select Yes from the drop down list, it will automatically highlight the entire row with the specified color. See screenshot:
doc excel yes no drop down list with color 02

Easily create YES or NO drop-down list with color by an amazing tool

Here in the second method, I will introduce the Colored Drop-down List feature of Kutools for Excel, which can help you quickly apply conditional formatting and highlight cells or rows based on the drop-down list selections easily.

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  1. Select the cells containing the YES or NO drop-down list, and then select Kutools > Drop-down List > Colored Drop-down List to enable this feature.
  2. In the Colored Drop-down list dialog box, please do as follows:
    1. Check the Row of data range option in the Apply to section if you want to color the rows.
    2. In the Data validation (Drop-down List) Range box, normally the selected column containing the Yes and No drop-down list is entered here.
      And in the Highlight rows box, please select the rows matched with the specified data validation range;
      Note: To only color the drop-down list cells, skip steps 1) and 2) above.
    3. In the List Items section, select a drop-down list item, says Yes, and specify a color to it. Repeat this operation to assign another color to the No item.
    4. Click the OK button.

From now on, the rows will be highlighted automatically based on the selections of the drop-down list.

Demo: Create YES or NO drop down list with color in Excel

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Comments (6)
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This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hi there,

Is e3 a text string or a cell reference?
If it's a text string, please use this formula: =I=IF(C2="YES","e3","")
If it's a cell reference, please use this formula: =I=IF(C2="YES",E3,"")

The formulas above will return e3 if the cell C2 is YES, and a empty string ("") otherwise. You can change the "" to other result if false to your needs.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
How do I have my Yes Box Help create a formula
I need to have a formula that will if yes then =e3
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I followed the exact steps and in my case is not changing the color for all the row, only for the yes, no cell. Any idea what i am doing wrong? Thanks
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Many thanks - that was very clear and helpful.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Under 2.: List values must be seperated with a semicolon. So it shuld be "Yes;No" intead of "Yes,No" for Source.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Many thanks I was desesperate!
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