Conditional Formatting – Show Items Only

In Excel 2007 there is an option to use icons in conditional formatting…For example, Up, Down & No Change arrows, which are fed by a number, 0, 1 or 2 in the same cell.  I needed to show these arrows on scorecard I was designing but there was an issue with the size of my column & where the arrows were sitting:

I wanted the arrows to appear in the middle of the cell & the numbers not to be there.  My initial thought was to just change the font colour of the cell, but this still showed the same information (although hidden) & the arrows stayed where they were.  Then I found a setting which means you can just ‘Show Icons Only’…

  • Select cells with conditional formatting on them
  • Goto Conditional Formatting > Manage Rules
  • Click Edit Rule
  • In the bottom right hand corner there is a tick box called ‘Show Icon Only’, make sure this is checked
  • Click OK
  • Click OK

This will then mean that the orientation of the cells moves the actual icons, instead of the values, see below example.



Carly Bond

is a regular guest blog poster here at, and also a blog poster on her own site, with a wealth of experience in VBA and Microsoft Excel - Carly is constantly expanding her knowledge and is actively learning PHP

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