Highlighting Rows in Google Sheets

How to highlight rows in Google Sheets on-the-fly with just one keystroke.

Published: Dec 04, 2016

Sometimes when I’m working with Google Sheets I just want to highlight a row really quickly without going through the steps of

  1. selecting a row
  2. opening the color menu
  3. selecting a color

By highlighting rows or cells using conditional formatting in combination with a custom formula, you just have a single step:

  1. Enter any character in a cell


Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Create a new column
  2. Select the columns you want to highlight
  3. Right-click on the selected columns and select “conditional formatting”
  4. Under “Format cells if…” select “Custom formula” and enter a simple little formula like =$C:$C>“”, where $C:$C is the new column in which you can later enter any character to mark the row.

The above formula basically says, “highlight a row in the selected areas whenever the cell in the specified column is not empty (i.e. greater than nothing).”

Now you can skim over rows and rows of data and mark any of interest with one keystroke.

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