Google Docs is a great tool for storing spreadsheets and other documents because it provides an centralized storage space for all of your documents which can be shared with users and accessed from any where that has an Internet connection. One thing that can be really helpful when creating a Google Spreadsheet is having a unified format to the entire document. A format that can assist in making the data in the spreadsheet easier to read is alternating colors for every row. This way if you have lots of columns per row you can easily see which data belongs to each row. The directions below explain how to set up formatting for two rows and then apply that formatting to the rest of the Google spreadsheet.
Google Spreadsheet: Apply Alternating Color Background To Every Other Row:
- Open Google Spreadsheet: Login to your Google Docs account and create a new Google spreadsheet.
- Create Title Row: If you are going to have a title row that will have a description header for each column go ahead and create that now.
- First Background Color: Now highlight the second row and apply the background color you want to use by selecting the “Background Color” button and choosing the color.
- Second Background Color: On the third row follow the same instructions as above to apply the second background color you will use in your alternating color scheme.
- Copy Rows: Here you will want to copy both rows that have the background color applied so highlight the first row, hold the shift key, and click on the second row to highlight both rows. Once both rows are highlighted click Edit in the top navigation menu and choose Copy from the drop down menu.
- Apply Color Formatting: Now to apply the formatting to the rest of the Google spreadsheet select the 4th row which will be right below the second row with the background color, hold the shift key, scroll all the way to the bottom of the spreadsheet, and click the last row in the spreadsheet to highlight row 4 to row 100 (there are 100 rows by default). Then click Edit in the top navigation menu again but this time choose “Paste Format Only” to apply the alternating background color to every row in the spreadsheet.
That is all you have to do to apply the formatting to each row in the Google spreadsheet. The same will apply if you want to create bold borders for each row or bold font for all columns in a row. Please note that if you sort the document the background colors will follow the row so you will lose your formatting if you sort each row. There is a way to make alternating background colors work after sorting but it is a bit more complex so we will write another article that explains this process in more detail.