How To Highlight Every Other Row In Google Sheets

Whether you’re an accountant, a teacher, an analyst or someone who just wants to organize their personal budget, Google Sheets can be your best friend. It’s not only a powerful tool for data organization but also for visual presentation. One great way to make your data more readable and aesthetically pleasing is by highlighting every other row, often referred to as “zebra striping”. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the steps on how to achieve this.

Step 1: Open Your Google Sheets

The first step is pretty obvious: you need to have your Google Sheets open. You can either use an existing one or create a new sheet. For this guide, we’ll be using a simple spreadsheet with several rows of data.

Step 2: Select the Rows

Next, select the rows that you want to highlight. You can simply left click the row number and drag to select multiple rows. If you want to highlight the entire sheet, you can use the small square on the top left corner to select everything.

Step 3: Open the Conditional Formatting Menu

Now, navigate to the top menu and click on “Format” and then “Conditional formatting” from the dropdown menu. This will open a sidebar on the right side of your screen.

Step 4: Set Up Your Formatting Rule

In the conditional format rules panel, under the “Format cells if” dropdown, select “Custom formula is”.

Now, in the formula field that appears, enter the following formula:


This formula uses the MOD function, which returns the remainder of a division operation. The ROW function returns the row number of a specified cell. So, MOD(ROW(),2)=1 is essentially checking if the row number is an odd number. If it is, the condition is met and the formatting will be applied.

Step 5: Choose Your Highlight Color

Now that the formula is set, it’s time to choose your highlight color. You can do this by clicking on the paint bucket icon under the “Formatting style” section. Select the color you prefer and click “Done”.

Final Thoughts

And voila! You’ve successfully highlighted every other row in your Google Sheets. This can greatly enhance the readability of your data, especially in larger spreadsheets. You can also use different colors for different conditions by adding more rules with different formulas.

Remember, Google Sheets is a very powerful tool and knowing how to use it effectively can make your life a lot easier. Happy spreadsheeting!