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For effective project management, the ability to promptly identify areas where the budget is exceeding its limits is crucial. Recognizing items that have gone over budget allows for timely adjustments, preventing the entire project from derailing. This task becomes particularly challenging in the context of long-term projects spanning months or years, involving numerous line items and expenses. In this video, you will learn how to employ conditional formatting to highlight negative numbers in a distinct color, providing a visual cue to easily identify potential budgetary issues.

Conditional formatting is a powerful feature that alters the appearance of numbers or text in spreadsheet cells based on specified conditions. In this instance, the focus is on turning numbers red if they are negative. To initiate the formatting process, highlight the numbers in the Net column and change the number format to accounting to ensure negative numbers are enclosed in parentheses. Proceed to apply conditional formatting to the cells, specifying the condition as a negative number or less than zero. Choose the desired font color for the formatting style; in this case, red. By implementing this conditional formatting, negative numbers in the Net column become visibly highlighted in red. Extend this formatting to the total cells at the top of your sheet to assess the overall budget’s status quickly.