Q How do you format negative numbers, including percentages, to show as red in Excel?
A There are a couple of possibilities, but your best option is to use Conditional Formatting. In Excel 2003, begin by selecting the cells you want to format. Then select Conditional Formatting from the Format menu (see screenshot below).
Excel then displays the Conditional Formatting dialog box. In Condition 1, in the first dropdown list (on the left), leave the setting at Cell Value Is. But in the second dropdown list, change it to less than. And in the third box, enter the number 0 (see screenshot below).
Now click Format and Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box. Press the Font tab and select red (see screenshot below).
Finally, click OK to close that screen and OK again to close Conditional Formatting.
In Excel 2007, go to the Home tab and select the target cells. Then, in the Styles group, click on Conditional Formatting (see screenshot at right) and a palette of options appears. Choose New Rule, opening the New Formatting Rule dialog box.
Under Select a Rule Type, choose Format only cells that contain. Under Edit the Rule Description, select Cell Value in the left-most box. The center dropdown list should contain less than, and enter the number 0 in the box on the right (see screenshot below).
Now click Format and in the Format Cells dialog box select the Font tab and use the color dropdown list to select red. Finally, click OK and OK again to close the New Formatting Rule dialog box.