Conditional Formatting and Icon Sets

Conditional formatting offers a great way to highlight important information or visually alert you when something needs attention. This article outlines how to add conditional formatting rules to a diagram so you can highlight shapes with stylistic elements and icons.

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When you create a new conditional formatting rule, it will automatically evaluate ALL of the shapes in your diagram to see if they match your conditional formatting criteria. 

Sometimes there are headers or other shapes where you may not want to apply conditional formatting. If this is the case, start by selecting the shapes you would like Lucidchart to include in your conditional formatting. 

If you would like conditional formatting to apply to all of your shapes, skip this step and move on to step 2.

To create your first rule, open the conditional formatting panel on the right by clicking on the wand icon and then clicking “Create Rule”.
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After you create your first rule, you can add additional rules by clicking the “+” that appears at the top of the conditional formatting menu.
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When you create a rule, it’s important to start by giving the rule a name so that you remember what the rule refers to. For example, if you create a rule to highlight task status, then you might call the rule “Task Status”.   You can double-click the title at the top to edit the rule name at any time.
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To create your “If” condition, you’ll start by selecting a data source (the information you want Lucidchart to check your condition on). You can choose from three options:

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Choose from one of four conditions (“Contains”, “Does not contain”, “Is empty”, or “Is not empty”), and then specify the value you would like Lucidchart to look for. 

In this example, we’ve created an “If” condition to look for text on a shape that contains the word “Apple”:

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If you select “Shape data” as your data source, the property field will appear so that you can select which column of data you would like Lucidchart to check your condition on. You will be able to choose from a list of columns in your data set. 

For example, if you imported an org chart, you could select the column titled “Location” as the information you would like to use to check your condition on.

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Once you’ve selected your property, you can choose a condition from a list of 14 options:

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Then you can specify the value you would like Lucidchart to look for. If we selected “Location” as our property, we might want to specify “Contains” as the condition and then “London” as the value. This will highlight all employees who list London as their location.

If you select “Formula” as your data source, you’ll see a field appear where you can type in your formula. Check out How to Use Formulas to learn more about this feature.
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Click the blue  “+ Add condition” button.  An “And” condition will allow you to specify that BOTH the “If” and the “And” conditions must be met before the formatting is applied (ex. only highlight shapes that say “Processing” AND “Shipping”). 

Adding an “Or” condition allows you to specify a second condition that, if true, triggers the same formatting as your “If” condition (ex.highlight shapes that say “Processing” OR “Shipping” - if either condition is met, the formatting will be applied).  “And” and “Or” conditions have the same fields and the same layout as “If” conditions.

In the “Then” section, you can select from three formatting options: 

If you select shape style as your formatting, you’ll be able to choose from the following options: shape fill color, border color, line color, border style, line style, border width, and/or line width.

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If you select icons as your formatting option, you’ll be able to choose the type of icon (icons from Lucidchart’s library, a text badge, or a custom icon upload), adjust the style, add hover text (optional), and change where the icon appears on the shape with the Position settings.

In this example, we’ve chosen to use Lucidchart’s icon library, selected the green check mark icon, and have positioned it in the upper right-hand corner of a shape.

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If you select dynamic shapes, you’ll specify the color that fills the shape, the color of the background of the shape, and then specify the parameters for the value of your shape.

For example, to show a progress bar that shows % completion on a task from 0 to 100%, you could choose a custom number as the value source, and type in 0 and 100 as the min and max (see the example below).

You could also use shape data or formulas to specify the min and max (although this is less common).

Finally, in the “Value” section, select the value that you want the shape to reflect. For example, if the value field contained the number 70, your progress bars will all show 70% completion. Instead of choosing “Custom number” as the value source, it’s generally more helpful to use shape data or a formula to specify this number so that it is unique to each shape. 

If you would like, you can also add hover text that will appear when anyone hovers over an icon.

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Add an “Else” or an “Else if” condition if you would like to apply formatting to the shapes in your selection that do NOT meet the conditions that you specified above. You can set “Else” and “Else if” conditions the same way that you set your “If” conditions.

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Here’s an example of an “ELSE if” condition that changes the shape style to be orange if the “If” conditions aren’t met.

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Click the blue “Save” button at the bottom to save your rule. Once you save your rule, it will automatically be applied to the shapes you selected in step 1, or all shapes if you did not have any shapes selected.

Once your rule has been created and saved, it will appear in a list in the conditional formatting menu. This list appears whenever you click on the wand icon, and are not editing a specific rule. From your list of rules, you can rename, edit, duplicate, or delete rules by clicking on the three dots to the right of the rule and selecting from the options. You can also un-apply the rule from here.

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In addition to using the menus to edit rules, you can drag and drop rules in this list to apply or unapply a rule to different selections in your diagram. For example, if I created a rule to apply to some shapes, I can adjust it to apply to all shapes by dragging it to the “Applied to All Shapes” section.

To see which shapes a rule is applied to, you can hover over a rule, and the shapes the rule applies to will be highlighted.

You can create rules to change your shape styles, add icons to your shapes, or add dynamic shapes to your diagram.

Shape styling will allow you to set rules to change shape fill color, border color, line color, border style, line style, border width, and line width based on your rule criteria. 

This type of conditional formatting could be used to highlight different departments or teams in an org chart (ex. marketing is red, sales is green), or specific steps in a process (ex. steps that include “shipping” are yellow). 

In this team brainstorming example, we used shape styling to highlight all of the sticky notes that included the word “friend”, so we could pick out that theme quickly and easily.

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Icons will allow you to set rules that attach icons such as colored circles, checkmarks, and warning signs to your shapes. You can choose from Lucidchart’s icon library, or you can also upload your own custom icons. If you’d prefer, you can add a text badge instead of icons to highlight important information.

As an example, you could use conditional formatting icons or text badges to help you visualize the status of various tasks on a task board or steps in a process.  You could create a rule to mark completed tasks or steps in a process with a green check mark, add a yellow warning sign to tasks that are in progress, or a red triangle to indicate process steps that are running behind.

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Dynamic Shapes will allow you to set rules to show progress, percentages, ratings, scores, and amounts.

You could use Dynamic Shapes on an org chart to show who has made progress on completing a training, or on a process shape to show how close to completion that step is.

In this example, we used dynamic shapes to show the % of the goal each of these employees has achieved with a progress bar.

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To create a legend from scratch, you can drag a container shape from the container shape library onto the canvas to serve as the outline of your legend. Once your legend edges have been defined by the container, you can add text boxes within the container to describe each of your formatting choices.

If you used shape styles as your conditional formatting, drag a rectangular shape onto the canvas (ex. the process shape in the flowchart shape menu), and apply all the same formatting styles as you did in your conditional formatting rule.

If you used icons as your conditional formatting, drag out a rectangular shape, and use the icon button in the top formatting bar to apply the icon that you used: icon.png

If you used icons as your conditional formatting, drag out a rectangular shape, and use the icon button in the top formatting bar to apply the icon that you used:

A quick shortcut for creating a legend is to open a Lucidchart template that contains conditional formatting (ex. The Data-driven org chart template from above), and copy and paste the legend into your own diagram. Then you can simply edit the text and change out the icons or colors to match your diagram.

Hover text, available for dynamic shapes and icons, allows you to display additional information when someone hovers over the icon or dynamic shape. You can write a custom message you would like to appear on hover, or you can use formulas to insert values into your custom message.

Hover text can be especially helpful as a type of legend to help people understand the meaning behind your conditional formatting icons and Dynamic Shapes. For example, you could add hover text to show that your green check marks mean “Complete” and your yellow triangles mean “In progress.”

In this example, we’ve added hover text to explain the red X in our process flow that appears when the average number of units at this step is greater than 7.

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To the right of every rule name, there is a gray indicator that shows how many out of the total number of shapes a rule applies to (30/30 in the example below). When you hover over the rule in the list view, the shapes that the rule is applied to will also light up on the canvas.

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Conditional Formatting uses IF → THEN (optional: → ELSE) syntax for inputting rules.

You can create rules that check various conditions, and combine different conditions with “AND” and “OR” conditions. 

For example, you could use the “Or” condition to highlight anyone whose name is “Jane” OR “Jean.” You can also expand the rule with an “ELSE IF” and/or “ELSE” conditions to catch things that might not fall into your first conditions. Following our previous example, you could use the “Else” condition to highlight anyone whose name is NOT “Jane” or “Jean”.