Getting better December 22, 2020

Match text - Dynamic formatting in the Visual Grid

Tags: Grunt Expert PowerPoint Visual Grid Rules Match text

Grunt supports many smart methods to simplify mundane tasks. One of them is to base your formatting on the text content in your document. Text matching makes it easier to apply your formatting correctly and will also ensure that your formatting stays consistent over time.

I have a text-heavy table layout in this example, and I want to highlight the rows where Amazon is doing well. I could do this manually, but that would take a long time and be easy to get wrong. I'll instead use Grunt's powerful text matching to get the job done.

In order to highlight text, I start by selecting all the relevant cells and apply a font rule. To make the effect more vivid, I'll change the text to be bold and red. Grunt has now highlighted all my cells with this formatting. The next step is to limit the formatting to only the essential cells. I do that by adding a "Match text" target to my included list. I can specify to match text that contains the word "Amazon" only. Grunt will now highlight all these terms in red. To improve my design, I'll choose a more subtle color.

I can also use the same technique to add other kinds of formatting. Let's say that I also want to highlight the background color of the rows matching "Amazon." I select all the relevant rows in my table. Next, I add a "Fill rule" to change the background color and choose a light blue shade. Finally, I add a "Match text" target to only match the relevant cells.

Grunt now highlights all the cell that contains the word "Amazon." If I want to highlight the entire rows, I can turn on the value source selector. This instructs Grunt to look in a specific column when looking for the search term. For instance, to format this cell, Grunt will search column "H" for the text "Amazon." If there is a match, the cell will get the formatting applied.

The beautiful part about this way of working is that you're immediately guaranteed to get your formatting correct. Another huge benefit is that Grunt will keep watching your data and keep applying this formatting whenever your data changes in the future.