In Excel, it's possible to display a "heatmap", i.e. colouring a group of cells depending on each cell's numeric value:

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I'm looking to do the exact same thing in Numbers, but surprisingly I couldn't find how to do so. It seems like a very, very standard and reasonable feature to expect from a spreadsheet and I'd be very surprised if Numbers can't do it.

Is there any way to achieve this in Numbers?


Yes, you can do it in Numbers but it's not a simple command as far as I know. Your spreadsheet should have numbers in each cell and that represents the size and shape of your color map. Select your matrix and under the Format menu of Numbers, click on Conditional Highlighting. That gives you a pane that looks like so:

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In the top right you see a button for Add a Rule. Click this button and set up your rules for your heat map. See next image.

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I used only 4 colors but I just set up this quick example. You can have as many as you want, you just have to set the rules correctly. It the Add a rule your get a pane like shown below to select your rules.

enter image description here

I used the rule "Between two numbers" because it was easiest for this example...

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  • 3
    Based on your answer, and if this is the only way, I'd rather say "no, you can't do it in Numbers". – Jivan Mar 6 at 2:33
  • It only hurts the first time. Then you can save your rules and use them every time. Since your data is in a spreadsheet it should be easy to normalize each data set to use the same filter. But if you still want the answer of No, I'll be happy to submit that! – jmh Mar 6 at 3:12
  • :) disclaimer: I'm not the downvoter. It only hurts the first time, sort of, it's quite a lot of machinery that still has to be running behind the scenes and it vastly limits the possibilities of exchanging data between different spreadsheets. – Jivan Mar 6 at 18:04
  • Why the downvote!! I know it wasn't you Jivan, thanks for telling me. But whoever downvoted it should say why! – jmh Mar 6 at 21:22

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