Using Icon Sets to Create Visual Effects to Compare Cell Values

Icon Sets in Conditional Formatting create a visual effect in your data so that you can compare the value of a cell with other cells. For example, if you are an accountant and want to easily categorize debtors based on how much they owe your company you can use Conditional formatting – Icon Sets.

In the example below we categorize the debtor balances as follows: Red for >=$50,000, Yellow for >= $25,000, Green for < $25,000. You can download the workbook to practice.

Applies To: MS Excel 2007, 2010 and 2013

1. The screen shot below will be used for this example.













2. Highlight the data range B3:B25.

3. Select the Home Tab and as per screen shot below.












4. With the data range (B3:B25) still selected, select the Home Tab and as below.











5. Select Edit Rule and as per screen shot below.












6. Select OK .

7. Select OK. The debtors balance list will be as below.














8.   To sort the list by the icon sets:

  • Select any cell within the outstanding balance column.
  • Select the Data Tab then select Sort.
  • Select as below. To add a new level, select the Add Level button.



  • Select OK.
  • The debtors balances will be sorted by icons with the red icons appearing on top of the list. Therefore you will be able to categorize debtors based on the outstanding balance.