How to Add Alternating Colors in Google Sheets [2024]

| | March 20, 2024
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Efficient data organization can greatly enhance the readability and visual appeal of your Google Sheets.

By adding alternating colors to rows and columns in Google Sheets, you can make it easier to distinguish between rows & columns, and quickly navigate through your data. 

In this article, you'll learn step-by-step how to add alternating colors in Google Sheets to make your spreadsheet data more visually organized and easier to read.

Let's get started.

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Alternating Colors in Google Sheets

Adding Alternating Colors in Google Sheets

Below I have mentioned some different methods to apply alternating colors in a blank spreadsheet as well as to sheets containing data.

Let's check out all the methods one-by-one and learn how to highlight every other row in google sheets.

Adding Alternating Colors to Blank Spreadsheet

In this tutorial, you will learn how to apply alternating colors to both rows and columns in a blank spreadsheet.

First, open Google Sheets by visiting this link -, and navigate to the sheet where you want to add alternating row colors.

Next, we will select the whole sheet as shown below.

Select Whole Sheet

After selecting the whole sheet, click on Fill colour from the toolbar, and click on Conditional formatting as shown below.

Conditional Formatting in Google Sheets

Now, you can see the Conditional format rules on the right-side of your sheet.

Conditional Format Rules

Now, click under Format rules and scroll down to select - Custom formula is.

Custom Formula Is

Under the option Custom formula is, we will enter the formula '=ISEVEN(ROW())' as shown below.

After entering the above formula, you can see the alternating colors in the even numbered rows of the sheet.

Formula ISEVENROW in Google Sheets

Similarly, you can also add alternating colors to odd numbered rows of your sheet.

To do that, you need to enter this formula 'ISODD(ROW())' and you'll have alternating colors in all the odd number rows as shown below.

You can also apply different colors to your rows from the Fill colour option as shown below.

Formula ISODDROW in Google Sheets

If you want to delete any conditional format rules, you need to click the delete icon as shown below.

Delete Conditional Format Rules

We can add alternating colors to columns also. To apply this, we will enter another formula 'ISEVEN(COLUMN())' or 'ISODD(COLUMN())'.

Below you can see that I have entered the formula 'ISEVEN(COLUMN())' to add alternating colors to even numbered columns of my sheet.

Alternating Colors in Columns

This is how you can add alternating colors in Google Sheets.

Next, we will see how to add alternating colors to a dataset.

Adding Alternating Colors to a Google Sheets Dataset

In this part of the tutorial, I will show you how to apply alternating colors to a sheet containing some data.

Below is an example of a worksheet containing some sample data related to employees of a company. The dataset contains the header in the first row and employee data in the remaining rows.

Dataset in Google Sheets

To do alternating colors in this dataset, we will first select the entire dataset as shown below. Then go to Format from the top menu and click on Alternating Colours.

Format Alternating Colours in Google Sheets

As you click on Alternating Colors in the previous step, alternating colors will be automatically be applied to the selected dataset.

Below you can see that the default style under Alternating Colours was applied to our dataset and same colors were applied to the alternating rows. It has applied a different color to our header also.

If your dataset doesn't contain any header then you need to uncheck the Header and alternating color will applied accordingly.

Alternating Colors in Google Sheets

In the above screenshot, you can see that there are many different types of styles that you can apply as alternating color to your dataset.

Below you can see that I have selected the second style under Default styles for my dataset.

If you don't like the default styles, you can also create custom styles by selecting colors of your choice under Header, Colour 1 (odd rows) and Colour 2 (even rows). After selecting the colors, simply click on the Done button.

Alternating Colors Styles

In this tutorial, I have shown you different methods using which you can apply alternating colors to whole sheet with or without data. Additionally, you can also apply alternating colors to a particular set of data in your sheet as explained above.

Wrapping Up

Adding alternating row colors to your Google Sheets can significantly improve the readability and organization of your data.

With just a few simple steps, you can apply these colors and make your sheet more visually appealing. Experiment with different color schemes or create custom ones that suit your preferences.

I hope you found this tutorial on how to add alternating colors in Google Sheets helpful. If you've liked it, please share it with your friends on social media.

For more useful tips and tutorials, please check out the below mentioned resources.

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Deepak Choudhary

Deepak Choudhary is the founder of He is a Blogger and an Affiliate Marketing Expert. He publishes useful articles for newbie bloggers related to the following topics - Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, Software Reviews, Software Tutorials, Blogging, WordPress, SEO, Passive Income, and more.