This article will delve into various techniques to apply color formatting in Microsoft Excel to distinguish between groups of rows. With this formatting, the data in a spreadsheet becomes easier to understand and analyze, especially when dealing with large datasets. Regardless of your proficiency in Excel, this article provides different options to achieve the desired formatting effect. In this article, we will explore 7 different methods to alternate row color based on group in Microsoft Excel.

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## Learn to Alternate Row Color Based on Group in Excel with These 7 Methods

Our objective today is to alternate row color based on group in Excel using 7 simple methods. For that reason, we have a dataset that is a shopping list of foods. Food items in the dataset are divided into four categories: fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish. Product names, Category, and Prices are included in distinct columns for each row. It offers a precise depiction of food and analytical groupings. We will alternate row color based on different typing using several functions like **AND**, **LEN**, **MOD**, **IF**, **ROW**, **ISEVEN**, and **ISODD**. In some methods, we will take help from the helper column. A helper column in Excel is an additional column used to perform calculations and support data analysis, making it easier to organize and analyze data. So, let’s get right into the central part of the article.

**Method 1**

### 1. Using Basic Formula

For our first method, we choose the most basic way we can do this. We will use Excel’s **Conditional Formatting** feature to alternate row color based on group (Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Fish). We will not use any helper columns in this method.

To alternate row color based on group (Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Fish) in Excel, follow these steps:

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

`=$C6="Fruit"`

- Subsequently, to choose a Fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the fruit containing rows now have the color you selected.

- To add more colors based on other groups, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Since we have 3 other groups of food items, we duplicate 3 more rules. Now, select Each Rule, other than the original one, and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

`=$C6="Vegetable"`

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the “Vegetable” group.

- Repeat the process after duplicating rules in the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**window for your other groups and Press**Apply**.

And your final output will look like this.

**Method 2**

### 2. Combining AND with LEN and MOD Functions

This section will look at another method in Microsoft Excel for altering row color based on groups. The technique requires building a formula that identifies which cells should be formatted using the three functions **AND**, **LEN**, and **MOD**. Using this method, you may easily highlight particular sets of data in your spreadsheet, making it simpler to compare and evaluate the data. We will also create a helper column using the **IF** function.

The input for Excel’s **AND** function must consist of one or more logical expressions (arguments), each of which can be either **TRUE** or **FALSE**. If all arguments are **TRUE**, the **AND** function returns **TRUE**, otherwise, it returns **FALSE**.

The **LEN** function gives the total number of characters, including spaces, in a text string. It is useful to count the number of characters in a cell when performing data analysis or formatting. The **MOD** function returns the remainder of a division operation. The number to be divided and the divisor are provided as the two arguments, and the remainder is returned as a result. The function is useful for performing operations such as alternating row or column shading. And finally, when a condition is **TRUE**, the Excel **IF** function produces one value, and when it is **FALSE**, it produces a different value. Its syntax is as follows: **IF**(logical_test, value_if_true, value_if_false). A value, a cell reference, or even another formula might be the outcome of an **IF** formula.

In this method, we will alternate row color according to the even and odd numbering of rows based on food types. To alternate row color based on group in Excel using the **AND**, **LEN**, and **MOD** functions, follow these steps:

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, we will create the Helper Column. We will put 0 in
**E5**beside our header. And in**E6**, enter this formula.

**=IF(C6=C5,E5,E5+1)**

- Next, press
**Enter**and follow up by double-clicking the**Fill Handle**button.

Thus, we have our rows numbered like this.

**1: Fruit**

**2: Vegetable**

**3: Meat**

**4: Fish**

- Now, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=AND(LEN($C6)>0,MOD($E6,2)=0)**

**🔨 Formula Breakdown**

`👉`

The first part, **LEN($C6)>0**, checks if the length of the contents in cell **C6** is greater than zero. If it is, then the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, otherwise, it returns a value of **FALSE**.

`👉`

The second part, **MOD($E6,2)=0**, calculates the remainder after dividing the contents of cell **E6** by 2. If the result is equal to zero, then the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, otherwise, it returns a value of **FALSE**.

`👉`

The **AND** function then combines the results of the two parts of the formula. If both parts of the formula return a value of **TRUE**, the **AND** function returns a value of **TRUE**. The resulting value of the formula is used to determine which cells should be formatted with the alternate row color. If the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, then the cell will be formatted; otherwise, it will not be formatted.

- Subsequently, to choose a Fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the rows that have even numbering now have the color you selected.

- To add color on odd-numbered rows, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Now, select a Rule and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=AND(LEN($C6)>0,MOD($E6,2)>0)**

**🔨 Formula Breakdown**

`👉`

The first part, **LEN($C6)>0**, checks if the length of the contents in cell **C6** is greater than zero. If it is, then the formula returns a value of **TRUE**; otherwise, it returns a value of **FALSE**.

`👉`

The second part, **MOD($E6,2)>0**, calculates the remainder after dividing the contents of cell **E6** by 2. If the result is greater than zero, then the formula returns a value of **TRUE**; otherwise, it returns a value of **FALSE**.

`👉`

The **AND** function then combines the results of the two parts of the formula. If both parts of the formula return a value of **TRUE**, the **AND** function returns a value of **TRUE**. The resulting value of the formula is used to determine which cells should be formatted with the alternate row color. If the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, then the cell will be formatted; otherwise, it will not be formatted.

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the odd-numbered group.

- Finally, press
**OK**and your final output will look like this.

**Method 3**

### 3. Using AND with LEN and IS Functions

This method will be similar to the last one. Instead of using **MOD** function, we will use **ISEVEN** and **ISODD** functions. The **ISEVEN** function returns **TRUE** if a given number is even and **FALSE** if it is not. Just like that, the **ISODD** function does the same thing for odd numbers.

In this method, we will alternate row color according to the even and odd numbering of rows based on food types. To alternate row color based on group in Excel using the **AND**, **LEN**, and **IS** functions to make formulas, follow these steps:

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, we will create the Helper Column. We will put 0 in
**E5**beside our header. And in**E6**, enter this formula.

**=IF(C6=C5,E5,E5+1)**

- Next, press
**Enter**and follow up by double-clicking the**Fill Handle**button.

Thus, we have our rows numbered like this.

**1: Fruit**

**2: Vegetable**

**3: Meat**

**4: Fish**

- Now, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=AND(LEN($C6)>0,ISEVEN($E6))**

**🔨 Formula Breakdown**

`👉`

The first part, **LEN($C6)>0**, checks if the length of the contents in cell **C6** is greater than zero. If it is, then the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, otherwise, it returns a value of **FALSE**.

`👉`

The second part, **ISEVEN($E6)**, checks if the value in cell **E6** is even. If it is even, the condition is **TRUE**.

`👉`

The **AND** function then combines the results of the two parts of the formula. If both parts of the formula return a value of **TRUE**, the **AND** function returns a value of **TRUE**. The resulting value of the formula is used to determine which cells should be formatted with the alternate row color. If the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, then the cell will be formatted; otherwise, it will not be formatted.

- Subsequently, to choose a Fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the rows that have even numbering now have the color you selected.

- To add color on odd-numbered rows, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Now, select a Rule and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=AND(LEN($C6)>0,ISODD($E6))**

**🔨 Formula Breakdown**

`👉`

The first part, **LEN($C6)>0**, checks if the length of the contents in cell **C6** is greater than zero. If it is, then the formula returns a value of **TRUE**; otherwise, it returns a value of **FALSE**.

`👉`

The second part, **ISODD($E6)**, checks if the value in cell **E6** is odd. If it is odd, the condition is true.

`👉`

The **AND** function then combines the results of the two parts of the formula. If both parts of the formula return a value of **TRUE**, the **AND** function returns a value of **TRUE**. The resulting value of the formula is used to determine which cells should be formatted with the alternate row color. If the formula returns a value of **TRUE**, then the cell will be formatted; otherwise, it will not be formatted.

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the odd-numbered group.

- Finally, press
**OK**and your final output will look like this.

**Method 4**

### 4. Combining MOD, IF and ROW Functions

This method will include the usage of **MOD**, **IF** and **ROW** functions. But we will only create the helper column with these functions. This time, the column will represent four different types of food using only 1 and 0. Then, using **Conditional Formatting** feature we will highlight the types.

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, we will create the Helper Column. We will put 0 in
**E5**beside our header. And in**E6**, enter this formula.

**=MOD(IF(ROW()=2,0,IF(C6=C5,E5,E5+1)),2)**

**🔨 Formula Breakdown**

`👉`

The **ROW()** function returns the row number of the current cell. In this case, if the row number is 2, the function returns 0.

`👉`

The **IF** function checks whether the value in cell **C6** is equal to the value in cell **C5**. If the condition is true, it returns the value in cell **E5**. If the condition is false, it returns the result of the expression **E5** + 1.

`👉`

The **MOD** function returns the remainder of the first argument (result of the **IF** function) divided by the second argument. The result of the **MOD** function will be either 0 or 1, depending on whether the result of the **IF** function is even or odd.

- Next, press
**Enter**and follow up by double-clicking the**Fill Handle**button.

Thus, we have our rows numbered like this.

**1: Fruit & Meat****0: Vegetable & Fish**

- Now, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=$E6=1**

- Subsequently, to choose a Fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**. - Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the rows with the number 1 now have the color you selected.

- To add color on odd-numbered rows, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Now, select a Rule and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=$E6=0**

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the rows with the number 0.

- Finally, press
**OK**and your final output will look like this.

**Method 5**

### 5. Integrating MOD and IF Functions

This method will be similar to the last one. We’ll exclude the **ROW** function and create a helper column with **MOD** and **IF** functions. And the rest is exactly like the previous method with **Conditional Formatting**.

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, we will create the Helper Column. We will put 0 in
**E5**beside our header. And in**E6**, enter this formula.

**=MOD(IF(C6=C5,E5,E5+1),2)**

**🔨 Formula Breakdown**

`👉`

The **IF** function checks whether the value in cell **C6** is equal to the value in cell **C5**. If the condition is true, it returns the value in cell **E5**. If the condition is false, it returns the result of the expression **E5** + 1.

`👉`

The **MOD** function returns the remainder of the first argument (result of the **IF** function) divided by the second argument. The result of the **MOD** function will be either 0 or 1, depending on whether the result of the **IF** function is even or odd.

- Next, press
**Enter**and follow up by double-clicking the**Fill Handle**button.

Thus, we have our rows numbered like this.

**1: Fruit & Meat****0: Vegetable & Fish**

- Now, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type** - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=$E6=1**

- Subsequently, to choose a Fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the rows with the number 1 now have the color you selected.

- To add color on odd-numbered rows, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Now, select a Rule and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=$E6=0**

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the rows with the number 0.

- Finally, press
**OK**and your final output will look like this.

**Method 6**

### 6. Employing ISEVEN and ISODD Functions

In this section, we will create our helper column to make a serial number for our food types using **IF** function. Then in the **Conditional Formatting** part, we will use the **ISEVEN** and **ISODD** functions to assign different colors according to even and odd numbers.

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, we will create the Helper Column. We will put 0 in
**E5**beside our header. And in**E6**, enter this formula.

**=IF(C6=C5,E5,E5+1)**

- Next, press
**Enter**and follow up by double-clicking the**Fill Handle**button.

Thus, we have our rows numbered like this.

**1: Fruit****2: Vegetable****3: Meat****4: Fish**

- Now, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=ISEVEN($E6)**

- Subsequently, to choose a fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the change. You will see the rows that have even numbering now have the color you selected.

- To add color on odd-numbered rows, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Now, select a Rule and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=ISODD($E6)**

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the odd-numbered group.

- Finally, press
**OK**and your final output will look like this.

**Method 7**

### 7. Combining IS and ROW Functions

This last method will be a simplified version of the previously explained methods. If you don’t want to color your rows by groups, but simply by alternating rows, this method is for you. In this section, we will keep things simple by using only **ISEVEN**, **ISODD** and **ROW** functions. We will also exclude the helper column altogether. Let’s see our final method step by step.

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=ISEVEN(ROW())**

- Subsequently, to choose a Fill color, click
**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the even-numbered rows now have the color you selected.

- To add more colors based on other groups, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Now, select a Rule and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

**=ISODD(ROW())**

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the Odd-numbered rows.

- Finally, press
**OK**and your final output will look like this.

## How to Alternate Row Color Based on Cell Value in Excel

We will use Excel’s **Conditional Formatting** feature to alternate row color based on cell value. We will use “Fruit”, “Vegetable”, “Meat” and “Fish” as our cell values to highlight rows. To alternate row color based on cell value (Fruit, Vegetable, Meat, Fish) in Excel, follow these steps:

**⬇️⬇️ STEPS ⬇️⬇️**

- Firstly, choose the cells or a range of cells to which the conditional formatting should be applied. We will select
**B6:D16**for our example. - Next, go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**dropdown, then select**New Rule**.

- This selection will launch the
**New Formatting Rule**dialog box. Pick**Use a formula to determine which cells to format**from the**Select a Rule Type**bar. - Then, enter the following formula in the
**Edit the Rule Description**box:

`=$C6="Fruit"`

- Subsequently, to choose a
**Fill color**, click**Format**.

- Now select the
**Fill**tab and the color you want. Pressing**OK**will take you back to the**New Formatting Rule**.

- Next, press
**OK**to apply the Change. You will see the fruit containing rows now have the color you selected.

- To add more colors based on other groups, we will again go to
**Home**tab and under**Styles**group, click on the**Conditional Formatting**But, this time we will select**Manage Rules**.

- In the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**, click**Duplicate Rule**. Since we have 3 other groups of food items, we duplicate 3 more rules. Now, select Each Rule, other than the original one, and hit**Edit Rule**.

- This will open up
**Edit Formatting Rule**dialog box. Now, change the formula in the**Edit the Rule Description**box:

`=$C6="Vegetable"`

- Then, select a color as we did before to highlight the “Vegetable” group.

- Repeat the process after duplicating rules in the
**Conditional Formatting Rules Manager**window for other groups.

And your final output will look like this.

## 📝 Takeaways from This Article

`📌`

Firstly, we used a basic formula to alternate row color based on group in Excel which requires the use of no function.

`📌`

Second, we combined **AND**,**LEN** and **MOD** functions to formulate a new way to alternate row color based on group in Excel.

`📌`

Again, we combined **AND**,**LEN** and **IS** functions to make another formula that was similar to the previous one.

`📌`

We also used the **MOD**,** IF** and **ROW** functions together, which were helpful in achieving our objective.

`📌`

Similarly, we integrated **MOD** and **IF** functions to create a helper column to alternate row color.

`📌`

Moreover, we used **ISEVEN** and **ISODD** functions separately to avoid helper column to alternate row color.

`📌`

Lastly, combining **IS** functions with **ROW** function gave us another option to alternate row color.

## Conclusion

In conclusion, using color formatting to differentiate between groups of rows in Excel can greatly enhance the comprehensibility and organization of data in a spreadsheet. This article has outlined various methods to achieve this formatting effect. I hope you’ll be able to find a suitable method to alternate row color based on group in Excel from these. The step-by-step instructions provided will help you achieve your desired result with ease. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below. I will try to answer them as soon as possible. Have fun using Excel, and you can visit **Excelden.com** for more tutorials. Thank You.