Conditional formats change how data is displayed depending on the value of the data. For example, if temperature value goes above a certain value, than you can specify that the value be displayed in bold, italic, red, etc.

Conditional formats are declared as properties of fields.

Note: The user interface for editing fields varies based on the type of data structure. Datasets, lists, issues, and specimen data use the interface illustrated in this topic. The same features are available for assay, sample set, user properties, and other users of the new field editor with a different user interface.


Specify a Conditional Format

To specify a conditional format in a dataset or list, open the field property editor, select a field, click the Format tab and click Add Conditional Format.

First identify the condition under which you want the conditional format applied. Specifying a condition is just like specifying a filter. If you specify two expressions here, both will be AND-ed together to determine whether a single conditional format is displayed.

Click OK.

Next, you can specify how the field should be formatted when that condition is met. The options are:

  • Bold
  • Italic
  • Strikethrough
  • Color: click to popup a dialog for setting foreground and background colors

Multiple Conditional Formats

Multiple conditional formats are supported in a single column. Click Add Conditional Format again to specify another conditional format. Unlike the definition of multiple expressions in the same condition, this additional condition can have a different type of conditional format applied.

If a data cell fulfills multiple conditions, then the first condition satisfied is applied, and conditions lower on the list are ignored.

For example, suppose you have specified two conditional formats on one field:

  • If the value is 40 degrees or greater, then display in bold text.
  • If the value is 38 degrees or greater, then display in italic text.
Although the value 40 fulfills both conditions, only the first condition to apply is considered, resulting in bold display. A sorted list of values would be displayed as shown below:


Specify Conditional Formats as Metadata XML

Conditional formats can be specified (1) as part of a table definition and/or (2) as part of a table's metadata XML. When conditional formats are specified in both places, the metadata XML takes precedence over the table definition.

You can edit conditional formats as metadata xml source. In the metadata editor, click Edit Source. The sample below shows XML that specifies that values greater than 37 in the Temp_C column should be displayed in bold.

<tables xmlns="">
<table tableName="Physical Exam" tableDbType="NOT_IN_DB">
<column columnName="Temp_C">
<filter operator="gt" value="37"/>

Example: Conditional Formats for Human Body Temperature

In the following example, values out of the normal human body temperature range are highlighted with color if too high and shown in italics if too low. In this example, we use the Physical Exam dataset that is included with the importable demo study.

  • In a grid view of the Physical Exam dataset, click Manage.
  • Click Edit Definition.
  • Select a field (in this case Temp_C), click the Format tab, and click Add Conditional Format.
  • In the popup, choose Filter Type "Is Greater Than", enter 37.8, and click Ok.
  • Click the black/white square icon to select colors:
  • Select colors in the foreground text panel.
  • Click Ok.
  • Click Add Conditional Format again.
  • Choose Filter Type: "Is Less Than", enter 36.1, and click Ok.
  • Check the middle checkbox, under the italicized I.
  • Scroll back up and click Save.
  • Click View Data to return to the data grid.

Now temperature values above 37.8 degrees are highlighted with shading and those below 36.1 are displayed in italics. Note that other conditional formats may be applied to other columns. In this screencap, there is conditional formatting in the Systolic Blood Pressure column also: orange for high, and red for very high readings.

When you hover over a formatted value, a pop up dialog will appear explaining the rule behind the format.

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