If you want to track financial numbers in a spreadsheet, or any kind of positive and negative correlation, here's how to make your positive numbers green and negative ones red in Google Sheets:

Highlight the column in the sheet you want to add this effect to.

  1. Go to “Format”
  2. Then, go to “Number”
  3. After that, go to “Custom Number”
  4. In the box at the top, next to the “Apply” button, copy and paste this:


The first number is the format of a positive value.

The second number after the semicolon is the format of the negative value.

The third number after another semicolon is the format of a neutral or “0” value.

After that, if you choose to have a fourth after a third semicolon, you can have a format for a text value.

I don't use anything for the text value in my example.

  1. For the color, put [green] before the first semicolon for the positive value.
  2. Do the same for negative but with [red].

You can also add arrows showing whether the value is up or down, like many websites do with stocks.

  1. To do this on Windows, click the Windows button on your keyboard, then type in and click “Character Map” to get special characters.
  2. Scroll down towards the bottom of the Character Map and hit the ▲, click “Select” and then “Copy”.
  3. Paste that like this: “▲” next to positive, before the first semicolon. Check the example above.
  4. Now, do the same for the ▼ for negative.

Finally, click “Apply” and you're done!

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