Use Excel 2007's Date feature to stay on top of deadlines

If you need a helpful reminder that project deadlines are looming, try this simple conditional formatting trick. Excel will highlight any dates that fall within the parameters you set.

Excel 2007's new Date feature lets you see at a glance which accounts or projects are coming due each time you open your worksheet. For example, say you have a list of financial accounts and their dates of renewal (Figure A).

Figure A


At the end of each month, you check your sheet to see which accounts are coming up for renewal next month. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells that contains the Renewal dates .
  2. On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting.
  3. Point to Highlight Cell Rules and then click A Date Occurring (Figure B).

Figure B

conditional formatting

  1. Click the drop-down arrow, select Next Month (Figure C), and click OK.

Figure C

dates option

The accounts up for renewal next month are highlighted in red. Note that Excel automatically updates the rule based on the system clock; so when you open the workbook a month from now, Excel formats new dates based on the rule's conditions.

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