We recently revamped filtering in WiFi Explorer Pro 3 and added a new feature that we believe is very helpful: Coloring rules (WiFi Explorer Pro 3 > Preferences > Coloring Rules). Coloring rules are custom filters that have a color associated with them and are a great way to flag or highlight networks that meet specific criteria. When a network in the scan results matches a rule, WiFi Explorer Pro 3 uses the rule’s color as the background color for the corresponding entry in the Networks Table.

For example, you can create a coloring rule to display in orange all networks in the scan results with a 40% channel utilization or higher. Or a rule that shows in red all the networks using a 40 MHz channel width in the 2.4 GHz band.

Coloring Rules Preferences in WiFi Explorer Pro 3.

Creating and managing coloring rules

Creating rules in WiFi Explorer Pro 3 is straightforward. Rules have a name, color, and filter. The name is simply a label to allow you to distinguish or identify the rule, and the color is used as the background color for all entries in the Networks Table that match the filter. You can define rules using filters based on keywords, network attributes, or more than 650 information fields (look at this filtering cheat sheet for a quick reference).

To learn more about filters in WiFi Explorer Pro 3, see Filter scan results.

Note that you don’t have to specify the foreground or text color when you create a rule. Instead, WiFi Explorer Pro 3 automatically chooses the text color based on the selected background color for improved accessibility.

In addition, WiFi Explorer Pro 3 organizes coloring rules in sets. You can use coloring rule sets in WiFi Explorer Pro 3 to quickly assess networks in particular scenarios, validate design best practices and network configurations, etc., by visually marking the networks that match one or more rules within the set. For example, you can create a rule set for designing and validating networks for Apple devices and another rule set for assessing best practices in the 2.4 GHz band.

WiFi Explorer Pro 3 provides an empty default coloring rule set. You can modify the default coloring rule set by adding or removing rules, but you cannot rename it or delete it. However, you can create additional rules sets with as many rules as you need.

WiFi Explorer Pro 3 will colorize a network using the first matching rule (from top to bottom) when matching multiple rules. You can change the precedence of a rule by selecting and dragging the rule to a new position in the list. The first rule in the set has the highest priority.

Switching between coloring rule sets

WiFi Explorer Pro 3 colorizes networks based on the active coloring rule set. You can change the active set by going to WiFi Explorer Pro 3 > Preferences > Coloring Rules and choosing a rule set under the “Apply rule set” option. You can also switch between coloring rule sets by going to View > Apply Coloring Rules and choosing a different coloring rule set.

Choosing a different coloring rule set.

In addition, WiFi Explorer Pro 3 automatically assigns a keyboard shortcut to the first nine coloring rule sets. You can use Option-1 to Option-9 to choose one of the first nine coloring rule sets or Option-0 to select None and disable coloring rules.

Identifying active and matching coloring rules

It can be challenging to keep track of all the rules and colors and their meaning in the current context (especially when using different coloring rule sets). Hence, WiFi Explorer Pro 3 provides an option to show a legend for the active coloring rule set in the bottom-right of the main window. 

Coloring rules legend: when no network is selected, all rules in the set are shown for reference.

When no networks are selected, the legend shows all the rules, identified by name and color, currently enabled in the active rule set. Alternatively, when you select a network in the Networks Table, the legend shows only the matching rules for the selected network or “None” if the network doesn’t match any rules.

Coloring rules legend: the selected network doesn’t match any rules.

You can also interact with the coloring rule set legend. If you click over a rule in the legend, WiFi Explorer Pro 3 automatically applies the selected filter to show only the networks that match that specific rule.

WiFi Explorer Pro 3 showing only the networks that match the “Overlapping Channels” coloring rule.

Sharing coloring rule sets

You can export and import coloring rule sets, allowing you to share coloring rule sets with friends and colleagues. 

To export a rule set, go to WiFi Explorer Pro 3 > Preferences > Coloring Rules, select the rule set, click the “Action” button under the list of rule sets, and choose Export. To import a rule set, choose Import instead, and then select the file with the rule set definition you want to import. You can also drag the file into the rule set list in WiFi Explorer Pro 3 > Preferences > Coloring Rules.

Conclusion

Coloring rules allow you to identify or flag networks based on custom filters. You can use coloring rule sets in WiFi Explorer Pro 3 to quickly assess networks in particular scenarios, validate design best practices and network configurations, etc., by highlighting, in different colors, the networks that meet specific criteria. You can define the coloring rules using filters based on keywords, network attributes, or more than 650 information fields.

Check out the section Use coloring rules in the WiFi Explorer Pro 3 Help to learn more about creating, managing, and applying coloring rules.