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How to Create Diagonal Borders in a Conditional Format in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you organize and analyze data in a variety of ways. One of the most useful features of Excel is its ability to apply conditional formatting to cells. With conditional formatting, you can highlight cells that meet certain criteria, such as cells that contain a certain value or cells that are above or below a certain threshold. But did you know that you can also use conditional formatting to create diagonal borders in Excel? In this article, we’ll show you how.

Step 1: Select the Cells You Want to Format

The first step in creating diagonal borders in a conditional format is to select the cells you want to format. You can select a single cell, a range of cells, or an entire worksheet. To select a range of cells, click and drag your mouse over the cells you want to format. To select an entire worksheet, click the box in the upper-left corner of the worksheet.

Step 2: Open the Conditional Formatting Dialog Box

Once you have selected the cells you want to format, you need to open the Conditional Formatting dialog box. To do this, click the “Conditional Formatting” button in the “Styles” group on the “Home” tab of the Excel ribbon. Then, select “New Rule” from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: Choose the “Use a Formula to Determine Which Cells to Format” Option

In the “New Formatting Rule” dialog box, you will see a list of options for how to apply the formatting. Choose the “Use a formula to determine which cells to format” option.

Step 4: Enter the Formula for Diagonal Borders

Now it’s time to enter the formula that will create the diagonal borders. In the “Format values where this formula is true” field, enter the following formula:


This formula uses the MOD function to determine whether the sum of the row number and column number is even or odd. If the sum is even, the formula returns TRUE, and the formatting is applied. If the sum is odd, the formula returns FALSE, and the formatting is not applied.

Step 5: Choose the Formatting for the Diagonal Borders

Now that you have entered the formula, it’s time to choose the formatting for the diagonal borders. Click the “Format” button to open the “Format Cells” dialog box. In the “Border” tab, choose the diagonal border style you want to use. You can choose from a variety of styles, including solid, dashed, dotted, and double.

Step 6: Apply the Formatting

Once you have chosen the formatting for the diagonal borders, click “OK” to close the “Format Cells” dialog box. Then, click “OK” again to close the “New Formatting Rule” dialog box. The diagonal borders will now be applied to the cells you selected.


Conditional formatting is a powerful tool that can help you make your Excel spreadsheets more visually appealing and easier to read. By following these simple steps, you can create diagonal borders in a conditional format in Excel. Whether you’re using Excel for work or for personal projects, this feature can help you take your spreadsheets to the next level.


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