How to change the row color based on a cell's value in Excel

Learn how to quickly change the color of the entire row based on a single cell's value in your Excel worksheets. Tips and formula examples for number and text values.

Last week we discussed how to change the background color of a cell based on its value. In this article you will learn how to highlight entire rows in Excel 2016, 2013 and 2010 based on a value of one cell, and also find a few tips and formula examples that will work with numerical and text cell values.

How to change a row color based on a number in a single cell

Say, you have a table of your company orders like this:
Source data - a table of the company's orders

You may want to shade the rows in different colors based on the cell value in the Qty. column to see the most important orders at a glance. This can be easily done using Excel Conditional Formatting.

  1. Start with selecting the cells the background color of which you want to change.
  2. Create a new formatting rule by clicking Conditional Formatting > New Rule... on the Home tab.
    On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting > New Rule...
  3. In the "New Formatting Rule" dialog window that opens, choose the option "Use a formula to determine which cells to format" and enter the following formula in the "Format values where this formula is true" field: =$C2>4
    Open the 'New Formatting Rule' dialog and enter the needed formula.

    Instead of C2, you enter a cell that contains the value you want to check in your table and put the number you need instead of 4. And naturally, you can use the less (<) or equality (=) sign so that your formulas will read =$C2<4 and =$C2=4, respectively.

    Also, pay attention to the dollar sign $ before the cell's address, you need to use it to keep the column letter the same when the formula gets copied across the row. Actually, it is what makes the trick and applies formatting to the whole row based on a value in a given cell.

  4. Click the "Format..." button and switch to Fill tab to choose the background color. If the default colors do not suffice, click the "More Colors..." button to pick the one to your liking, and then click OK twice.
    Click the 'More Colors...' button to choose the color to your liking.

    You can also use any other formatting options, such as the font color or cells border on the other tabs of the Format Cells dialog.

  5. The preview of your formatting rule will look similar to this:
    The preview of your formatting rule
  6. If this is how you wanted it and you are happy with the color, click OK to see your new formatting in effect.

    Now, if the value in the Qty. column is greater than 4, the entire rows in your Excel table will turn blue.
    The background color of entire rows is changed based on value in the specified cell.

As you can see, changing the row's color based on a number in a single cell is pretty easy in Excel. Further on, you will find more formula examples and a couple of tips for more complex scenarios.

How to apply several rules with the priority you need

In the previous example, you may want to highlight the rows with different values in the Qty. column in different colors. For example, you can add a rule to shade the rows with quantity 10 or greater, say, in pink. In this case, use the formula =$C2>9, and after your second formatting rule is created, set the rules priority so that both of your rules will work.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, click Conditional Formatting > Manage Rules... .
  2. Choose "This worksheet" in the "Show formatting rules for" field. If you want to manage the rules that apply to your current selection only, choose "Current Selection".
  3. Select the formatting rule you want to be applied first and move it to the top of the list using the arrows. The result should resemble this:
    Use the up and down arrows to set the rules' priority.

    Click the OK button and the corresponding rows will immediately change their background color based on the cell values that you specified in both formulas.
    The entire rows colored based on two conditional formatting rules

How to change a row color based on a text value in a cell

In our sample table, to make follow-up on orders easier, you can shade the rows based on the values in the Delivery column, so that:

  • If an order is "Due in X Days", the background color of such rows will turn orange;
  • If an item is "Delivered", the entire row will be colored in green;
  • If an order is "Past Due", the row will turn red.

Naturally, the row color will change if the order status gets updated.

While the formula from our first example could work for "Delivered" and "Past Due"(=$E2="Delivered" and =$E2="Past Due"), the task sounds a bit trickier for "Due in..." orders. As you see, different orders are due in 1, 3, 5 or more days and the above formula won't work because it is purposed for exact match.

In this case, you'd better use the =SEARCH formula like this =SEARCH("Due in", $E2)>0 that works for the partial match as well. In the formula, E2 is the address of the cell that you want to base your formatting on, the dollar sign ($) is used to apply the formula to the entire row, and >0 means that the formatting will be applied if the specified text ("Due in" in our case) is found.

Tip: If you use >0 in the above formula, it means that the row will be colored no matter where the specified value or text is located in the key cell. For example, the Delivery column (F) may contain the text "Urgent, Due in 6 Hours", and this row will be colored as well.

If you want to change the color of rows where the contents of the key cell starts with the indicated value or text, then you need to use =1 in the formula, e.g. =SEARCH("Due in", $E2)=1. However, be very careful when using this kind of formula and ensure that there are no leading spaces in the key column, otherwise you might rack your brain trying to figure out why the formula does not work :) You can use this free tool to find and remove leading and trailing spaces in your worksheets - Trim Spaces add-in for Excel.

Create three such rules following the steps from the first example, and you will have the below table, as the result:
The rows' color is changed based on a text value in a cell.

How to change a cell's color based on a value of another cell

In fact, this is simply a variation of changing the background color of a row case. But instead of the whole table, you select a column or a range where you want to change the cells color and use the formulas described above.

For example, we could create three such rules to shade only the cells in the "Order number" column based on another cell value (values in the Delivery column).
Changing a cell's color based on a value in another cell

How to change a row's background color based on several conditions

If you want to shade the rows in the same color based on several values, then instead of creating several formatting rules you can use the =OR or =AND formulas to set several conditions.

For example, we can color the orders due in 1 and 3 days in the reddish color, and those that are due in 5 and 7 days in the yellow color. The formulas are as follow:

  • =OR($F2="Due in 1 Days", $F2="Due in 3 Days")
  • =OR($F2="Due in 5 Days", $F2="Due in 7 Days")

Use the =OR formula to change a row's color based on several conditions.

And you can use the =AND formula, say, to change the background color of rows with Qty. equal to or greater than 5 and equal to or less than 10: =AND($D2>=5, $D2<=10).
An example of using the =AND formula

Naturally, you are not limited to using only 2 conditions in such formulas, you are free to use as many as you need, e.g. =OR($F2="Due in 1 Days", $F2="Due in 3 Days", $F2="Due in 5 Days") and so on.

Tip: Now that you know how to color cells to differentiate between various types of values, you may want to know how many cells are highlighted in a certain color and calculate the sum of values in those cells. The good news is that you can automate this too and you will find the solution in this article: How to count, sum and filter cells by color in Excel.

These are only a few of many possible ways to zebra stripe your Excel worksheets based on a cell's value that will respond to change of data in that cell. If you need something different for your data set, drop us a comment and we will try to figure this out.

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398 Responses to "How to change the row color based on a cell's value in Excel"

  1. Akshaya Kumar swain says:

    my question is
    suppose i have a data like this

    sas analytics developer
    visual analytics using macro
    msexcel is a spreadsheet program

    Those values are containing "analytics" then change to "magic"
    otherwise value should be "_".

    Using Excel formulas...

    • Shane says:

      Hi, I have a drop down box that changes sets of data in my array. It shifts between two sets of data depending on what's selected in the drop down box. I want one set of data to have one format and the other set of data to have a different format. When I use conditional formating, and I change the set of data once, the format changes correctly. However, when I change the data set back the format does not revert back to what it was originally. It is forever stuck in the new format.

      Is it possible to do this with conditional formatting?

    • Revati says:

      It is possible
      Instead of condition formatting, simple If statement is to be used

  2. Akshaya Kumar swain says:

    please anybody comment here..

  3. Hi Akshaya,

    Using Excel formulas, it is not possible to substitute values in the original cells with data. However, you can create an empty column next to the column that contains the values you want to change and copy the following formula all across that newly added column: =IFERROR(IF(FIND("analytics",A1) > 0, "magic"), "_") where A is the name of the column with your original data.

  4. Tapan says:

    Thank you very much for such easy tips. Hardly took 10 mins opposed to writing magic VB scripts for days ;)

  5. John Lyons says:

    Hello Svetlana Cheusheva, how are you?

    I wanted to ask if the question that was posted on November 28, 2013 is similar to my question.

    I wanted to ask how to automatically highlight an entire row after entering specific text in a single cell within that row?

    Please respond at your earliest convenience.

    Thanks, John Lyons.

  6. John Lyons says:

    Oh and I'm currently using Excel 2010 on Google Drive..

  7. Hello John,

    I think you can use the conditional formatting as demonstrated in this article, and copy one of the following formulas across the column in which you will enter specific text, where A is the name of your column:

    For exact match: =$A1="your text"
    For partial match: =SEARCH("your text", $A1)>0

    You can find more details here.

    If you need something different, please clarify. Thank you for your comment!

    • nyan says:

      Hi Svetlana Cheusheva,

      What if i wanted to highlight the row whenever there is different text across same column. In my excel i have more than 50 portfolio name and i wanted to highlight each portfolio name with one colour. For this formula," =SEARCH("your text", $A1)>0", "your text" is hard coded , any way to make this a variant?Thanks for you help!

  8. Charlie says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Just wanted to say thanks for this, it was really useful and helped me achieve exactly what I wanted.

    Many Thanks,


  9. Hi Charlie,

    Thank you very much! It's always a pleasure to get such comments :)

  10. Manoj says:

    I want to change the color a cell,say A1 when the count of a particular text in other cells Say A2 to A3 (which are in same row ) changes.

    Say, if the count is less than 2, the color of A1 is red, when more than 2, should be green, and greater than 5, should be blue.


    • Hi Manoj,

      This was a challenge!

      If I understand your task right, you need to change the background color of a cell in Column A depending on how many times a particular text is found in a specified range of cells.

      If so, you can use the following formulas to count "FindMe" text in a specified range (columns B, C, D in each row).




      In theory, you can use the above formulas with conditional formatting, as described in this article. However, I'd strongly advise to create an additional column and copy the formula


      across that new column to count the "FindMe" instances. Then you can create conditional formatting rules based on the number in this column.

      Instead of "FindMe”, you can add a reference to the cell containing the needed text.

      Click here to download a sample workbook.

      Sheet 1 contains a complex formula to color Column A using Condtional Formatting.
      Sheet 2 is an example of Condtional Formatting using the helper column.

  11. Rohit Jain says:

    I did not understand(although i applied rules)...
    here my problem...
    i have two coloums - 'Name' and 'Remarks'.
    i want to change the cell colour of all the cell in the column "Name" if the "Remark" column contains text "Expired" ..
    PLEASE provide me solution, better main me.

  12. Hi Rohit,

    Select your table without headers and create a new rule as described in Changing the row’s color based on a number in a single cell. In your rule, use this formula =$B2="Expired", where B is your Remarks columns. I've just tried this on my test table and it worked just fine, all rows containing the text "Expired" in the "Remark" column got colored. Hope this helps.

  13. Alina says:


    I need your help :). In my excel I have a column with "delivery date" and one with "Invoice". I would like to know the formula to colour the Invoice column when the delivery date is equal and grater than today BUT in the same time when I will enter the invoice number, the colour will dissapear (or be default).

    Thank you!

  14. Parameswar Nayak says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    This is a very good post. It helped me to achive my formating I wanted.

    Thnks a lot.

  15. Hi Parameswar,

    I am glad you've found it helpful. Thank you for your comment!

  16. Hello Alina,

    I think you can add an additional column to your table and copy the following formula across that column:
    =IF(B2>=DATE(YEAR(NOW()),MONTH(NOW()),DAY(NOW())),IF(C2="", 1, 0), 0)
    Where B is your Delivery column and C is the Invoice column. If the date is greater than or equal to now and there is no number in the Invoice column, the formula returns 1, in all other cases it's 0. After that you create a simple conditional formatting rule for the Invoice column with a formula like this: =$D2=1 where D is the additional column. Hope this helps.

  17. Kevin says:

    Hello Svetlana,

    I would like to know how to make one colour word in a formula which the word is refered from another sheet.


    The "2013 year" is at "B7" cell in "A" sheet.
    and I 'd like to use a formula on "B" sheet.
    So, hope to make this "The great idea id from 2013 year !!" words in the "B" sheet.
    But only "2013 year" is in red.
    Because, I will use the words for every year, only change "A" sheet.
    And do not miss the changed word for confirmation. So hope to make it coloured.

    The conditional formatting can not be accepted, but if it accepted a word without formula. I have tried.

    Please let me out of this question.
    Thank you!

    • Cubit says:

      I want the cell in column L to be highlighted yellow if any cell in that row says "Holiday Inn"


      • Alexander says:

        Select column L, from L2 till the end of the data, and create a conditional formatting rule using this formula:
        =CountIf($A2:$P2, "Holiday Inn")>0

        Where P is the last column in your table.

  18. Alina says:


    I will try it, thank you very much,

  19. Hello Kevin,

    If I understand your task correctly, you need to color a part of the text in a cell, i.e. "2013 year". Unfortunately this cannot be done either with conditional formatting or Excel formulas because they apply to the entire content of a cell. Probably, this can be done using VBA, but I don't know for sure. Sorry for not being able to help with this : (

    If you are looking for something different, please send us a sample workbook so that we can understand your task better and we will try to figure out a solution.

  20. Kevin says:

    Hello Svetlana,

    Thanks for your kind answer, I will try to find out more.

  21. Sumesh says:


    I would like to know how to change the color of font if in 2 colum numbers are same but not in sequence ?

    If in colum A there is number like., 1,2,3,4,5 & If I type 3 & 4 in next colum like below. So can I change font color of same numbers? and How using formula?


    A B
    1 4
    2 3

  22. Hi Sumesh,

    If my understanding is correct, you need to change the font of 3 and 4 in your example. If so, select the entire first column (say, column A) and create the conditional formatting rule based on this formula =ISERROR(MATCH(A1,$B$1:$B$10000,0))=FALSE

    After that select the second column e.g. column B (it's very important to select the entire column, so that your rule will apply to =$B:$B) and enter this formula =ISERROR(MATCH(B1,$A$1:$A$10000,0))=FALSE

    Choose the needed font color for both rules and enjoy the result : )

  23. Bytebuster says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I have a little problem with an Excel sheet which is made by someone else who left the company. According to a formula =DATUM(D$3;SOM(C$43:O$43);B7)is the day of the month set in the cell like mo tu we th fr sa su. Wheneve I change the year the days of the month changed automatically. What I want to do is color the row of sa and su but all what you memntioned above couldn't help me. How can I realise this?

    If it is not possible, is there then another way to set the days of the month sothat I can change the color of the row of weekend by a formula or else?

    Kind regards,

  24. Hi Byte,

    As far as understand you output the days of the week in some custom format similar to "ddd" format that displays Mon, Tue etc. If so, then you can create a conditional rule based on this formula:
    where A in the name of the column where your =DATUM formula is used.

    You will only need to change "Sat" and "Sun" exactly to the text that your formula returns, replace "ddd" with your cell format, and use the analogs of "OR" and other operators in your language (German, right?).

    • Bytebuster says:

      Hi Svetlana,

      I've tried your formula but unfortunately it doesn't function. I've tried to change some settings of the formula (like MS Office 2010 doesn't like = before OR command or other commands.) I've tried some other things, but no result. I have changed the name of the days as you had mentioned, from Sat to za en from Sun to zo. These are the short names of the week days in Dutch. Do you have another solution for this. If you want, then I can send you the Excel file.

      Kind regards and thanks in advance,

    • Tara says:

      Hi Svetlana,

      This is almost exactly the same problem I'm having. And the formula you post works but only partially. When I type the formula you list above, It only colors 2 of my cells. No cells are hidden and when I tried it in a brand new sheet using the same formulas only one cell on that sheet changes color. What am I doing wrong? I am only using the first part of the formula you posted because I only need to color cells in the row containing Sunday. This is what I put in the formula box in Conditional Formatting: =OR((text(A6,"dddd")="Sunday"))=TRUE

      Thank you for your help!

      • Tara says:

        Oh and I'm using =WEEKDAY(A1) in my A6 not =DATUM. It took me a long time to figure out the Weekday formula, I'll be really bummed if I have to change it. =/

  25. Tatumrs says:

    I am working a spreadsheet that contains several tabs or worksheets. The summary page is pulling information from the other tabs based on the formula =CONCATENATE(U7B!E91," ")

    Now, on my summary page, I am wanting to change the color of a cell in column b if a text in column e is "x". Column b is a name gathered off the above listed formula and column e represents if they are a pool player

    Thanks for the help

  26. Tatumrs says:

    column e text is also pulled from the other tabs based on the same formula

  27. Svetlana says:

    Hi Tatumrs,

    I think you can select the entire column B and create the conditional formatting rule based on this formula =$E1="x" (or =$E2="x" if your table has headers).

    • Rajnish says:

      Hi Svetlana,

      How to colour a row where text mentioned in Column A2 to E2= "Yes".
      But if any of the cell is "No" then that row should not get highlighted.

      A B C D E
      Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Yes Yes No No Yes


  28. Chris says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Sorry to trouble you, but I cannot make this work for a date!

    I have one column (J) which is "date of sale". This only has a value if a sale has been made. So, I want to highlight all the rows which have a date in column J (essentially highlighting all the rows where I have made a sale, and leaving the ones where the sale has not been closed blank)

    Can you help?


  29. Hi Chris,

    Try selecting the whole table and then create the formatting rule with this formula =$J2<>"" (assuming that your table has headers). It will color all the rows that have any value in column J. Hope this is what you are looking for.

  30. Chris says:

    Success! Thank you very much!

  31. Tatumrs says:

    Line 26, 27, and 28.

    I attmepted to place the formula you suggested in the conditional formating and it is not working. Any other ideas?

    Ex. I am wanting cell B4 to highlight if cell E4 has "x".

    However, The data is cell E4 is pulled from a different location based on the formula =CONCATENATE(U7G!E8," ")

    Thanks for your help.

  32. Hi Tatumrs,

    I tested that formula on a table that pulls data from another sheet using a CONCATENATE formula similar to yours, and it worked properly. In fact, it does not really matter whether you enter a value directly in a cell or pull it from another location. This formula (=$E4="x") is very simple and should work anyway, unless you have some specific data format, e.g. dates. Anyway, it's hard to say why it does not work for you without seeing your real data.

  33. Allan says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Was wondering if you could help me please. I have a table made up and i am wanting to highlight an entire row, only when all the cells in that row have information of any kind(text or numbers)in them. So the row would stay unhighlighted if any of the cells were left blank. Basically the entire row would highlight automatically when all cells are complete.

    Many thanks


  34. Hi Alan,

    The only solution that I can come up with is using the =AND formula like this =AND($A2"", $B2"", $C2"", $D2"", $E2"")
    It works fine if a table has only a few columns, but this may not be the best approach if you have a large table because as you understand, you would need to list all the columns in the formula. Regrettably, I cannot suggest any better alternative.

  35. som pratap singh says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I want to make a sheet which contains only words A,U,P,EL. The condition is when I type A in any cell of the table the background of that perticular cell should change automatically to yellow. and when I type P in any cell then background should change to green like by typing other words they should also change the colour of backgound of any cell in same table.

    Son Pratap

  36. Hi Son Pratap,

    In your case, you need to select the whole table and create a conditional formatting rule of the type "Format only cells that contain". Then under "Format only cells with", choose the following options: Cell value, equal to, A. You can find the detailed information on how to do this in my other article: How to change background color in Excel based on cell value. Hope this helps.

  37. Helen says:

    Hi Svetlana

    I am trying to make an entire row red when there is one or more #N/A errors. I have used =ISERROR(A1)and selected the range as =$A$1:$AI$16 but it only makes the cells with #N/A in them red not the whole row.

    Please can you help?


  38. Hi Helen,

    You need to enter the absolute address of the column =ISERROR($A1). If errors may occur in other columns as well, then you need to create similar rules for columns B, C, etc. Alternatively, you can try to combine them all in one rule using the OR operator, e.g. =OR(ISERROR($A1),ISERROR($B1),ISERROR($C1))

  39. Paul D says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Can you advise how to make cells adjacent to 1 cell with a numeric value change colour or ideally return an x symbol, ie
    Assume cell A1 contains value 6, I need the number of cells adjacent to ideally contain the x value (or be coloured) based on the number in A1, so B1 - G1 would contain x. Need this formulae to work up to a value in A1 of say 24 max. Is this possible ?? - many thanks.

  40. Hi Paul,

    I am not 100% sure that I understand your task correctly, so let me check. If you have 6 in A1, then you want the next 6 cells (B1 – G1) to contain "x". If you have 5 in A2, the next 5 cells B2 – F2 should contain "x" and so on. The maximum value in A is 24. If so, then you can copy the following formula to B1:Y1 and across the same range in other rows: =IF(COLUMN(B1)-1 <=$A1, "x", "") No conditional formatting is needed.

    P.S. I think I have to let you know that I gave up on this task after several unsuccessful attempts.
    The formula was written by Dmitry, one of the best Excel developers in our team, just in a few seconds : )

  41. Vanessa says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    Is there any way to change the background colours of cells when text in those cells is changed to a date? The dates are to go on for the rest of the year(end of 2014).

    • Hi Vanessa,

      To color cells with dates, first you need to identify the format code of your date, e.g. d-mmm-yy or dd-mmm-yy is "D1"; d-mmm or dd-mmm is "D2"; m/d/yy or m/d/yy h:mm or mm/dd/yy is "D4" etc. You can find the complete list of date codes in this article.

      And then, select a table or a range where you want to change the color of cells, and create a conditional formatting rule using a formula similar to this =cell("format",$A1)="D4" where D4 is the date format and A in the name of the column that contains dates. If your dates may be in 2 or more formats, then use the OR operator, e.g. =OR(cell("format",$A1)="D4",cell("format",$A1)="D2",cell("format",$A1)="D1")

  42. vic595 says:

    i have a huge data's and each cell texted mixed color.
    i have done a formula to when ever i mark No.1 on cell will take the target cell which i want (simple : =if(=IF(A1=1,C2," ").

    The problem :
    the problem is the target cell givving me a black color text data, how i can get it as colored as original cell which it have?

  43. Colin says:

    Hi Svetlana
    I would like cells colored based on ID numbers they contain.
    What would a formula look like that colors cells with the same values ( ID's) in a list, so the cell colors alternate, but by their ID numbers not just alternating cell by cell or by Company name as ID is linked to different locations of the same Company.
    ID No Company
    60416 Company A
    60416 Company A
    60419 Company A
    60420 Company A
    60420 Company A
    60420 Company A
    60420 Company A
    60423 Company A
    60489 Company B
    60489 Company B
    60489 Company B
    60490 Company B
    60490 Company B
    60490 Company B
    60490 Company B
    60159 Company C
    60159 Company C
    60159 Company C
    60159 Company C
    60434 Company D
    60434 Company D
    60434 Company D
    60434 Company D
    60909 Company E
    60909 Company E
    60909 Company E
    60909 Company E

    • Hi Colin,

      The only solution that I can suggest is to create a separate conditional formatting rule for each ID. In your example, there are 10 different IDs, so you'd need to create 10 different rules. VBA code might probably work too, but it should allow for all the specificities of your real data, so we cannot give any advice.

  44. Colin says:

    Thank you for looking into it.

  45. Sarah says:

    Hello Svetlana

    Im wondering if you can help me i have a spreadsheet set up for work and i need to make it then when i put in a g it turns green and so on with different letters and colours. I can get it that i can change the colour however i need the number to disapper

    Hope you can help

    Thank you

    • Hello Sarah,

      If my understanding of the task is correct, you want to change the color based on a cell's value and after that the cell's value should disappear. I don't know any way to delete cells' values using conditional formatting. And even if there's such a way, most likely this would eliminate the cell's color too (no value > no color). As an alternative, you can "hide" the value by making the cell's color and font color alike. In other words, in your conditional formatting rule you can set the font color exactly the same as the fill color.

  46. Neeta says:

    Thanks, it helped me format the document easily.

  47. Sabra Souders says:

    I am trying to add a rule that will change the color of the cell (C column) if the return date (B Column) is the same (green), one day later (yellow) and over 2 days later (red). I entered the formula on the first row but cannot paste it to any other cells. I need all of column C to reflect column B as I enter the dates.

    • Hello Sabra,

      If you have already created a conditional formatting rule for 1 row, then you can extend it to the entire table in this way. On the Excel Ribbon, click Conditional Formatting > Manage rules. The Conditional Formatting Rules Manager will open an you choose "This Worksheet" from the drop-down list next to "Show formatting rules for". You will see your current rule and edit the "Applies to" range as you need it either by typing or use the standard Excel button to select the range to the right on the "Applies to" field.

      Also, be sure to use the dollar sign ($) before the column letter in your formula, e.g.
      Green =($C1-$B1)=0
      Yellow =($C1-$B1)=1
      Red =($C1-$B1)>1

      Hope this helps.

  48. RC says:

    Hi Svetlana, I am running into an issue and I hope there is an easy fix. The formula below the formatting rule works.
    Example 1:
    =AND($B2="Success", $F2="Approved") the formatting works.

    However when I add an additional formula the results don't format even when true. The issue is my spreadsheet contains the words TRUE in some cells and FALSE in others. I'm thinking the formula think these are some type of operators. When I try and use these values in the formula no formatting takes place.

    Example 2:
    =AND($B2="Success", $F2="Approved", $C2="TRUE") the formatting fails.

    I have multiple columns that have a value of either TRUE or FALSE.
    How can I get around this? I have tried applying different rules but I haven't found a solution yet.

    Thank you,

    • Hi RC,

      You are right, Excel perceives TRUE and FALSE as Boolean values rather than text values. So, you simply need to remove quotation marks from TRUE, so that the formula reads: =AND($B2="Success", $F2="Approved", $C2=TRUE)

  49. RC says:

    Awesome, that worked. Thank you!

  50. Ryan says:

    Thank you so much for your help. I am trying to use conditional formatting to create two separate colored sections. Here is an example of my data:

    .5 .5
    .5 .5
    1.0 0.0
    .75 .25

    The rule that I would like to set up is a green row appears when the first column is greater that 0 and the second column is equal to 0

    When both columns have numbers that are greater than 0, I would like to set up a blue column.


    • Hi Ryan,

      Supposing that your first column is A and your 2nd column is B and your table has headers, you can use these formulas:

      =AND($A2>0, $B2=0) - for green rows
      =AND($A2>0, $B2>0) - for blue rows

      As you understand, you need to replace A and B with the columns where your numbers are located. And if your table does not have headers and your data starts in row 1, change A2 to A1 and B2 to B1.

  51. raj says:

    I have one help
    in a cell i have keying one letter example A, and i selected same row its reflect full rows A.
    how is i do. need to help me.

  52. Josiah says:

    Hi! You know the formula to highlight the row that have the same values in total score column and rank column? Thanks! :D

  53. Theresa says:


    I have created a spreadsheet with a list of contracts including expiry dates when known - I am trying to create a conditional format for the entire row when the contract has expired - I have tried several different combinations including creating a hidden column with the TODAY() formula and using the =$L1<$M1 in the conditional formula L - being the expiry date and M - the today date, but none of the combinations I have tried are working (I have checked and all the dates are entered in the same format - but some dates that are greater than M are being highlighted also....I have also created a conditional format for when the expiry date is empty (L) to leave the format unchanged but it seems to work for some and not for others - I am completely stumped?

    • Hi Theresa,
      Your formula is correct. I can think of only one possible reason why it may not work properly. If your table has headers, then you need to put it =$L2<$M2 to avoid the "shift" because the real data starts in row 2. Is this the case?

  54. muzaffar says:

    hi! i am traying to format each duplicate pair in diffrent color, is this possible? infact, it is a date format and i want to have each date duplicates in same color.

  55. muzaffar says:

    is it possible to format a cell that contain numeric and text value on its numeric value only?

  56. Matt says:

    Thank you, thank you! I have been trying to find a way to make this work based on the dates in the last column of several spreadsheets for a week. I guess I was just asking the wrong questions of Google, but today I found your explanation and was able to quickly (and EASILY) alter it to my needs using the TODAY()feature and adding/subtracting the # of days that would determine a different color.

    Your explanations and the screenshots were fantastic!

  57. Shannon says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I am trying to use the AND function to highlight rows. I want the row to be shaded when column K and column M contain "Yes". I highlight my whole table and apply the conditional formatting rule =AND($K5="Yes",$M5="Yes")it works but only for the top row? How do I make it so the rule is applied to the whole table?

    Also if possible, I would like to shade a different colour when the above is applied and also column I contains any value (either text or number). Is this possible?

    Thank you, I hope this make sense!

    • Hi Shannon,

      Your formula is correct and it worked just fine on my test sheet. It might not work on your side if for some reason your conditional rule was created for the top row only. You can check it in this way:

      On the Excel Ribbon, click Conditional Formatting > Manage rules. In the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager, choose "This Worksheet" next to "Show formatting rules for". You will see your current rule and the range it applies to. If it is not correct, you can change it directly in the "Applies to" field.

      Also, please check if row 5 is really a top row with data in your table, it not, modify the formula accordingly.

      As for your second condition (when columns K and M contain "Yes" and column I contains any value), it is also possible using this formula: =AND($K5="Yes",$M5="Yes",$I5<>"") Hope this helps.

  58. Carl says:


    I was able to use your directions to change the color of one cell based on the values in another. I would like to repeat this on every row in my document. Each row is in an independent decision. Is there an easy way to copy my rule for one row to the others or do I have to set up each row individually? Thank you.

    • Hi Carl,

      If you want to apply the same rule to all the rows, then you can simply modify the range it applies to. You can do it in the following way. Select the row to which the rule applies, click Conditional Formatting > Manage rules, select your rule and enter the needed range directly in the “Applies to” field. If you are loking for something different, then please give me an example.

      • Carl says:

        I don't think setting a range will work because the color of cell A1 (in my sheet) is dependant upon a value in A10 and/or A11. The value in B1 will be dependant upon my value in B10 and/or B11 and so on. Each row is an indpendant decision of the other rows. If I apply a range then won't all the colors be the same? I don't want that. A 1 could be anyone of three colors, B1 could be anyone of three colors and so on.

        • Hi Carl,

          I am not sure I understand your task correctly. Anyway, for the colors not to be the same, you can use a relative reference (without the $ sign) or a mixed reference (relative column and absolute row). For example, if you create a conditional formatting rule with this formula =AND(A1>A$10,A1<A$11) for range =$A$1:$D$9, it will color all cells in column A (A1:A9) whose values are greater than A10 and less than A11; cells in column B with values greater than B10 and less than B11 and so on. If you are looking for something different, then you can send us your test workbook (support@ablebits.com), it's always much easier to come up with the right formula when you can see the real data.

  59. Peter says:

    I have a spreadsheet in which I have a number of columns. In column a I have a Code that may repeat for 4 rows, then change to another value, then another. How can I easily Highlight the row for each change in column A? Here is a simple example of the data. In the case below, I would want to highlight the first 4 rows in let's say blue, then I do not need to highlight rows 5-8, but then highlight rows 9-12 in blue again, the next 4 no highlight, etc...

       6870meri    Property Administrator (Payables)
       6870meri    Property Administrator (Receivables)
       6870meri    Property Manager
       6870meri    Superintendent
       aberdeen    Property Administrator (Payables)
       aberdeen    Property Administrator (Receivables)
       aberdeen    Property Manager
       aberdeen    Superintendent
       albionc    Property Administrator (Payables)
       albionc    Property Administrator (Receivables)
       albionc    Property Manager
       albionc    Superintendent
       alexandr    Property Administrator (Payables)
       alexandr    Property Administrator (Receivables)
       alexandr    Property Manager
       alexandr    Superintendent
       alkenton    Property Administrator (Payables)
       alkenton    Property Administrator (Receivables)
       alkenton    Property Manager
       alkenton    Superintendent
       arcadia    Property Administrator (Payables)
       arcadia    Property Administrator (Receivables)
       arcadia    Property Manager
       arcadia    Superintendent

    • Hi Peter,

      If all of your codes repeat for 4 rows, then you don't even need to use conditional formatting. An easier way to zebra stripe your data would be using Excel's table styles:

      1. If you have a range of data, convert it to table (Insert > Table).
      2. Go to the Design tab, right click on the table style you want and choose Duplicate.
      3. Name your new style, select "First Row Stripe" and set it to 4. Do the same for "Second Row Stripe".
      4. Click OK, save your style and apply it to your table by selecting it from the Table Styles gallery.

      You can achieve the same result by creating a conditional formatting rule with this formula =MOD(ROW($A2)+8-2,8)>=4 (supposing that your table has headers and row 2 is your top row with data; if not, then replace -2 with the number of your 1st row).

      If there may be a different number of rows in the Codes column (A), then you will need a bit more complex formula. Create an additional column, say column K, and enter the following formula in cell K2, then copy it across the entire column: =MOD(IF(ROW()=2,0,IF(A2=A1,K1, K1+1)), 2)

      The formula will populate column K with blocks of 0 and 1, every new block staring with the Code change. After that create a conditional formatting rule(s) using the formula =$K2=1 (and =$K2<>1 if you'd want a second color to alternate blocks). Hope this helps.

  60. AG says:

    Hi, If I want to highlight a final result cell based on certain inputs, say "Yes" or "No" in a column. how can i do that?

    If the column C has Yes or No as inputs against some conditions placed in column B then how does it reflect in the final result column D as Yes or No?

    • Hi AG,

      If my understanding is correct, you want to copy "Yes" or "Now" from column C to column D and then highlight rows in 2 different colors. If so, then enter the following formula in cell D2 (assuming that your table has headers) and then fill that down until the end of your table: =C2

      After that select your table and create 2 rules using these formulas:
      To highlight rows with Yes: =SEARCH("Yes", $D2)=1
      To highlight rows with No: =SEARCH("No", $D2)=1

      If you are looking for something different, please clarify.

  61. Anonymous says:

    it is not helpful to me as no formula to change the entire row color is sucessful. i want to know how a row will be coloured if a value change. thanks

    • Regrettably, I'm not able to give any advice without knowing what exactly you are trying to achieve. If you can give an example of your data (including column names), we will try to work out a proper formula.

  62. Katie says:

    I have a large spreadsheet that contains two date columns. One of the date columns is column F. I want to highlight every row that has the date 12/31/2013 in column F, but I can't make it work. Thanks!

    • Hi Katie,

      The point is that Excel stores dates as numbers, starting from January 1, 1900. So, 1-Jan-1900 is stored as 1, 2-Jan-1900 as 2… and 12/31/2013 as 41639. To make the formula work, just enter your date in this numerical format, i.e. =$F2=41639 (assuming that row 2 is your top row with data).

      Another way is to convert the date to the number format is which it is stored: =$F2=DATEVALUE("12/31/2013")

  63. Joe says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    for my work i need to enter different values for each row every time.
    i would like for the coloring of the new entry to be automatic to green.
    and i want the previous record to be white again. meaning i want always the latest entry will be colored and the rest colorless.

    is there an easy way to achieve this.

    much thank,


    • Hi Joe,
      This is not possible to achieve using Excel's conditional formatting. Our Excel specialist has written a small macro for you that shades the latest edited cell in green. You can try this solution by copying the macro to your worksheet:

      Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal rnUpdated As Range)
      Static strLastUpdated As String

      If strLastUpdated <> "" Then
      Range(strLastUpdated).Interior.ColorIndex = 0
      End If

      rnUpdated.Interior.Color = CLng("&H00FF00")
      strLastUpdated = rnUpdated.Address

      End Sub

      If you are not very comfortable with macros, this short tutorial may be helpful:
      How to insert and run VBA code in Excel

  64. steve says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I have 2 columns-- in one is the Event Name and the other is Event Type

    I want the event name in column C to change color based on the 3 types of events I type in column B

    so if you type Annual I want that event name to change Orange
    if you type Passed I want that event name to change Green

    My problem is its changing ALL of the events the colors because it contains the word annual..

    please help!!

  65. Hi Steve,

    Select cells in Colum C that you want to format and create rules with these formulas (assuming that row 2 is your 1st rows with data):
    Orange: =SEARCH("Annual", $B2)=1
    Green: =SEARCH("Passed", $B2)=1

    This should color cells in Column C when the corresponding cells in column B contain Annual and Passed, respectively. If you are looking for something different, please send me a sample workbook at support@ablebits.com and we'll try to figure this out.

  66. steve says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I sent you an email.. hope we can get this solved.

    • Hi Steve,

      I emailed you back the result.

      The Search formulas work just fine, just make sure you use the first cell with data in the formula, which is D3 in your case:
      =SEARCH("Passed", $D3)=1
      =SEARCH("Annual", $D3)=1

      Also, it is important that you enter the range with your data only under "Applies to" and not the entire column, otherwise the formula will be applied to the first 2 rows too and you will get incorrect results.

  67. Chris says:

    I am creating a template and I have queries in that. It’s in two parts.

    First Part
    I have a start date of a work. And the no of days the works is going on. In the next column I should get the end date. But it should add the weekends. (For example my works starting date is 13/03/2014 and the no of days of work is 2. Then the work ending date should come as 16/03/2014. (Weekend is Friday and Saturday. Not Saturday and Sunday). I tried using “workday” command but I think it assumes (Saturday and Sunday as weekends).
    Task Name Start Date Duration End Date
    Survey 13/03/2014 2 ?

    Second Part
    There are dates in the column. As per the start date and the end date that we have calculated from part 1 the cells should color automatically. Say if it the work is from 13 to 16th then the cells between these two dates should be automatically colored.
    Start Date End Date 13 14 15 16 17
    13/03/2014 16/03/2014

    Can you help me to do this excel.

  68. Pratap Narayan Chaturvedi says:

    How to use Conditional Formatting in total Row Like

    Name Age City
    Jaslok 20 Delhi
    Ramesh 21 Jabalpur
    Rama 22 Kanpur

  69. Abby says:

    Hi. Thank you for the helpful instructions. I am trying to set the color of a row based on the text in one column, but have a list of words to exclude.
    Therefore, I want the rows where certain words do not appear in a specific column to be highlighted. I would greatly appreciate your help.

    I have tried the following formula without success
    =AND($F17"BLUE", "RED")

    =OR($F17"BLUE", "RED")

    • Hi Abby,

      If my understanding is correct, you need to highlight rows where neither "BLUE" nor "RED" appears in column F. If so, select your entire table and you can use create a conditional formatting rule with this formula (assuming that your table has headers and row 2 is your 1st row with data):

      If you want to highlighted rows that contain certain words, let's name them "GooodWord1" and "GooodWord2", but do not contain words-exceptions, say "ExcludeWord1" and "ExcludeWord2", then you will need a very complex formula like this:

      AND(false=ISERR(SEARCH("GooodWord1",$F2)), false=ISERR(SEARCH("GooodWord1",$F2)), true=ISERR(SEARCH("ExcludeWord1",$F2)),, true=ISERR(SEARCH("ExcludeWord2",$F2)))=true

      As you see this formula is very long and that is why your workbook may start working a bit slower than usually.

  70. Chris says:

    Hai Svetlana,

    Thanks for your reply. Second part worked perfectly. But for the first part when i say start date as 20/03/2014 and duration as 2 days then it should consider 20th also. so the end date should be 21/03/2014.


    • Hi Chris,

      In this case, the correct formula is this =WORKDAY.INTL(A1-1,B1,7)

      However, please note that if your start date as 20/03/2014 and duration as 2 days, the end date will still be 23th because March 21 and 22 are Fri and Sat, respectively, and they are days off according to your requirements.

  71. Chris says:

    thank you..

  72. Chris says:

    Hi svetlana,

    Have another query. Its related to Macro. I have two different work sheets. from the first sheet i have to copy two separate cells and have to paste that in the second sheet. after i paste i will get values generated in the second sheet. then i have to copy the generated values and paste it in the first sheet. this has to keep on goin on a loop. how to do this.

    For example from first sheet i will copy distance and speed and paste in the second sheet. based on these values cost will be automatically generated in the first sheet. and then i have to copy these costs and paste in the first sheet. Then i have to copy next two values of distance and speed from sheet 1 and paste in sheet 2. this has to go as a loop.And the sheets should automatically open.


  73. Owen says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    I cannot set a conditional (color) format in (say) cell A1 based on A2 if A2 is a formula. If I type in a hard number into A2 then A1 goes red - it works fine - but when I put the formula back into A2(which delivers the correct answer itself for my spreadsheet)then A1 does not respond ?
    Please help.
    Many thanks

  74. Marcel says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    how to highlight first order row of every client? My spreadsheet contains client name, date of acquisition columns and has many entries per client.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Marcel,

      I cannot figure out a way to do this with conditional formatting. However, our Duplicate Remover add-in can help. You can download a trial version and then do the following:

      1. Select your entire table, and click "Duplicate Remover" icon on the ribbon, then click Next.
      2. Choose to find "Uniques +1st occurrence".
      3. Select only your "Client ID" column as the key column.
      4. Select the action "Fill with color", choose a color and click Finish.

      The first order row of every client will be shaded with the color of your choosing. Is this what you are looking for?

  75. abdallah says:

    thnx alot. this was very helpfull

  76. Ian says:

    Hi Svetlana

    Thank you for you good work.
    How do you change the color of a value in a cell that has changing (RTD) dynamic value:
    Cell A1 contents 1000 Text color is BLACK time 00:01
    Cell A1 contents 1001 Text color is GREEN time 00:02
    Cell A1 contents 999 text color is RED time 00:03
    Thank you

  77. morteza says:

    Hi Svetlana
    At first i should thank you for your helpful advice to clear my mind about some problems.
    But now,i encounter another problem and hope i can describe it well.

    1- I made a table that calculates the benefit of a deposit money then shows it in a cell(all in a row).It also highlights the row of current day "today()" nfo.
    Since it has too many rows it takes time to find the right one, so i want to show the exact data based on current day in different place for example at the top of the sheet.

    2- Is it possible to show this new row on screen when a user log-in. (something like pop up text ).

    Thanks for your hints even if it doesn,t solve my pb.

  78. morteza says:

    Hi all,

    How to send a specific excel data as a pop up message on desktop by these rules:

    1- Auto pop up at start up
    2- By user click
    3- contents data varies based on computer current date.

    Does anybody know How?


    • Alexander says:

      It is very difficult or probably impossible to display a pop-up on desktop. You can get the dialog to appear in Excel upon opening a workbook and /or clicking a button in the workbook. The question is what exactly you want to write in that dialog?

  79. ARUP PATRA says:


  80. morteza says:

    I made a table which uses a simple formula to calculate the profit of deposit money then shows the result. Each row stands for a day.And now, i want the row of containing current day result can be shown on screen automatically (something like a pop up message)when I logs in to my account.and afterward by clicking a button or icon whenever I wish. In summary I WANT A ROW OF DATA IN EXCEL 2007 BE SHOWN ON DESKTOP LIKE A POP UP WINDOW AT START UP.I hope I explained it clearly.

  81. morteza says:

    Hi Svetlana
    I used VLOOKUP function to fetch the desired row and show it elsewhere and it works.
    I hope can find a solution for my 2nd Q. I think i should use some codes in excel VBA. Unfortunately I have no idea about that.

  82. QS says:

    Hi, I am struggling with the following:

    I have a certain text in Column C and want that certain row from A to G to be a specific colour when the text is written in column C. can you please help me?

    thank you

    • Hi,

      If you want to highlight the row with exact match in Column C, then select your table and create a rule with this formula:
      =$C2="text" (assuming that your table has headers and row 2 is your 1st row with data)

      If you want to highlight the row with partial match, i.e. Column C may contain a certain text preceded or followed by some other text, then use this formula:
      =SEARCH("text", $C2)>0

  83. QS says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I still can't seem to get it right. Maybe I should explain better. I have text in column C and then have values in some of the other columns. my text in column C reads "PC AMOUNT" and when I type this in I want the specific row from column A to Column G to turn a specific colour.

    When I use the formula you gave, and I type in "PC AMOUNT" where "text" is, it gives me an error. " you may not use reference operators "

    Can you perhaps assist.

    Thank you

    • Hi,

      I have tried to create a rule with this formula =$C2="PC AMOUNT" and it worked fine on my test data. Just make sure that you use the straight quotes in Excel, because this blog converts them to smart quotes and this does cause the error you mentioned when copying/pasting formulas directly.

  84. QS says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I got it to work. Thank you very much

  85. Nit says:


    If i want to change the font color based on cell color what should i do

  86. Nit says:

    okay i got it... Its in the font tab while creating the rule.

  87. KN says:

    How do I get an icon set to plot on a graph based on data results from a survey?

    • Sorry, I do not exactly understand what you are trying to achieve. Please send us (alexander.frolov@ablebits.com) a screenshot of the desired result and your sample data and we will try to figure out a way.

  88. Josh says:

    Hello, I have an easy one. I need to highlight today's date row and then the next row as well (not just the next date). I have multiple rows for one date box.
    ex: 1/1/14 row a highlight this row
    row b highlight this row
    1/2/14 row a
    row b

    I have today's date row highlighted, but now the row b. The Row b first box covers and row a first box is the same box expanded over the two rows.

  89. P. D. says:

    Hi! I have a lot of columns in a worksheet. If there is a number greater than 0 in a cell of 1 specific column, I want the first cell of the row where the number greater than 0 is located to become highlighted. Is that possible?

    It is not highlighting the entire cell but a cell in that row. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi,

      Yes, you can do this in the following way:
      - Select only the column where you want to color cells (except for the header row, if any). Suppose this is column A.
      - Create a conditional formating rule with this formula: =$C2>0 where C is your specific column. If your table does not have headers and your data starts in row 1, then use =$C1>0

      Since we use a mixed reference in the formula (absolute column and relative row), the formula will highlight the first cell (A) of each row where the value in column C in greater than 0.

  90. Tharindha Herath says:

    Great tutorial. Is very helpful and saved my time lot. Thank you.

  91. Thelma says:

    Hello. I am trying to use your formula but somehow I am missing something. I want to highlight the entire row in green if C1 has the text "completed". Not sure what I'm doing wrong.

    • Hi Thelma,

      You can do this by selecting the entire table where you want to color the rows and creating the conditional formatting rule with this formula:

      If C1 may contain some other words, e.g. "completed last week", then you can use this formula for partial match.
      =SEARCH("completed", $C1)>0

      Also, make sure you use straight quotes in the formula, they are often changed to smart quotes when copying / pasting from web-pages.

      If the rule still does not work, please send me your workbook at support@ablebits.com and I will try to help.

  92. Lu says:

    I am trying to format a sheet so that when a date is entered in a row in column K the entire row is coloured yellow. However when a second date is entered in the same row in column L the row is changed to red. I know this should be simple but I am having issues getting it to work.

    • Hello Lu,

      I think you can create 2 rules with the following formulas and apply them to the entire table:
      1) =$K1<>"" - yellow fill color
      2) =AND($K1<>"", $L1<>"") - red fill color. Check the option "Stop if true" next to this rule and make sure it comes first in the rule list.

      The rules will color your spreadsheet correctly if only dates are allowed in columns K and L, because as you understand, the formulas will work if any value is entered in those 2 columns. Hopefully, this solution is suitable for your task.

  93. Kyle says:

    How would I do this if I wanted it black out a row with any text in a column cell? For example a termination date. If there is any date entered in that column it blacks that employees info.


    • Hi Kyle,
      You can select the entire table and create a rule with this formula (assuming that your table has headers and data starts in row 2):
      =$B2<>"" where B is your termination date column. Naturally, you choose the black fill color.

  94. Alexey says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Could you please help me
    I try to use formula, for example


    But catch error "We found a problem with formula... Now trying to type a formula? When the first character is an exusal (=) or minus (-) sign, Excel thinks it's a fomula"...

    And I can't save Formatting rule.


    • Hi Alexey,

      If you have the Russian regional settings, then you should use a semicolon instead of a comma in your formula (unless you changed this in the regional setting in control panel).

      Also, please note that if you want to find the specified text in any position in a cell, the formula reads =SEARCH("anymatch";A1)>0. If a cell's contents should start with the specified text, then use =SEARCH("anymatch";A1)=1

      If the error persists, please let the know the full formula, exactly as you are entering it in a rule. In this way, it would be easier to test and pin down the root of the problem.

  95. Mamatha says:

    Hi ,

    I am able to achieve conditional formatting , but i also have hierarchy in my sheet , so after applying conditional formatting if i try expanding hierachy my foramtting is disappearing .

    Can you please help , I have applied applied sap styles for my hierarchy.

    How to lock the conditional formatting , i mean it should retain/remain after expanding hierarchy.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello Mamatha,

      I am sorry I do not quite understand what exactly you mean by "hierarchy" in your sheet. Is it group subtotal or something else? Anyway, it would be easier to determine the source of the problem if I could have a look at your data. You can send me your worksheet at support@ablebits.com and I will do my best to help.

  96. Laura says:

    I need a little help...

    I am trying to get the whole row text to change colour based on entries in column S.

    I go to conditional formatting and choose a new rule. I then pick use a formula to determine which cells to format. I then put the following formula in: =$S7="2015 callback"

    I change the format so that the text will change to purple.

    Once I have done all this some cells change but these are rows of cells where the information in column s is not "2015 callback"

    How can I manipulate this excel spreadsheet to do as I want?


    • Hi Laura,

      Your formula is correct. Just make sure please that you apply it to the right range of cells. For example, if row 7 is your first row with data, then you should select the range starting with A7.

      If your data starts in some other row, e.g. row 2, then you should change the formula accordingly: =$S2="2015 callback"

      I have created a similar rule for column C and it works just fine:
      Conditional formatting rule

  97. marina says:

    Can you help me in one case
    My requirement is "I just want to highligt the cell (by colour) if any changes done after a particular date.

  98. Jelena says:


    I have a problem with icon sets. I'm supposed to obtain green flag in cell A5 if there is any value (combination of letters and numbers) in cell F5 and red flag in the case that there is no value. I need a solution for entire column A (flags) and F (values).

    Thank you in avance.

  99. Jal says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Lets say there are two colums
    A B
    11 13
    12 9
    13 15
    5 55

    If the value of B is greater than that of a, the value in B should be green color else red. How do i go about doing that?

  100. Dee says:

    I am trying to change the row colour based on the word 'PAID' in one cell but I cannot make it work. I have tried all that you have suggested above and am at the point of tearing my hair out! please help!

    • Hi Dee,

      Try this:

      - Select all the rows you want to color, excluding the header row, if any.
      - Go to Conditional Formatting > New rule > Use a formula to determine which cells to format.
      - Create a rule with this formula =SEARCH("PAID", $C2)>0 Remember to replace C with the name of your column that contains the word PAID. If your data starts in a row other than 2, replace 2 with the corresponding row number.

      If the formula still does not work for you, please send me your sample workbook at support@ablebits.com and we will figure out the cause.

  101. mir says:

    hi...i have a data for product pricing let say from day 1-10. i want to read the data fast. for me to do that i want to see which items increase, decrease and retains the same from day 1 - 10. is it possible for conditional formatting? thank you.

    • Hello Mir,

      I believe you can use Excel Icon Sets for this, e.g. three arrow set.

      You could create an additional column with a formula that calculates the difference between Day 10 and Day 1, say =P2-G2 (where P2 is Day10 and G2 is Day1). Apply an icon set to this column and select the box "Show icon only".

  102. shikha says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I am struck at one point in my excel sheet, the client needs to detect all red colored cells in a column, and give them a code like "L" and copy in the corresponding empty row. I am not sure how I should move....

    I am looking for your kind guidance in this regard.


  103. BSWjon says:

    Hi ablebits,

    I am having trouble with the =SEARCH(“pine”, $E7)>0 formula described in this article, (I've adapted it to fit my criteria) it just doesn't work. I require the row ranging from E7 to H7 to change colour when 'pine' is in cell E7.

    Cell E7 has numbers preceding the text, e.g '4.2 Pine'. Also, the cell contents are selected using a drop down box (via data validation). Will either of these affect the formula?

    Look forward to reading your reply


    • Hi BSWjon,

      Conditional formatting rules work with drop down list values as well as with normal values. Your formula is also correct, I've just tested it on similar data (drop box, preceding text) and it has worked perfectly. If you can send me your sample workbook at support@ablebits.com I think we will be able to figure out the cause of the problem.

  104. RAKESH says:

    HI..Is there a way where by i click on a cell which has any value and it changes it color...and also of copying value of cell into another cell in different spread sheet by clicking on it or any other manner.

    • Hi Rakesh,

      Both of your tasks can be accomplished using VBA. But actually I do not see any point in writing a special macro for the first task since it takes just a click on the Fill Color button on the ribbon to color a cell.

  105. Will says:

    Hi, I need a formula to colour cells based on what I sell.

    I have spreadsheet with a code for what I sell, so household HC, car PC and van GV at the start of the row.

    I also have a few other things in the row, is there a way for colouring the row based on what I put in, so HC - blue row, GV - orange row?

    Thank you

    • Hi Will,

      Of course, you can do this. Simply select the entire table and create a separate rule for each code with the below formulas (assuming that your codes are in column A and row 2 is your top-most row with data):
      Blue: =$A2="HC"
      Orange: =$A2="GV"

  106. Sudha says:

    Hi, I work on rotation updates and i colour code them based on the stage they are for example if i have initiated the visa process then i colour them in Yellow and if they are on rotation - Green and so on. What i want to know is if i create a table as below

    1 In Process
    2 On the ground
    3 Returned
    4 Complete

    And another table with the rotator details, i would want to automate the colours when ever i update the rotator details. For example : If i input 1 in Row A1 then i want the entire row to be coloured and if i input 2 in row A2 then it should coloured to a different colour. Is this possible with conditional formatting?

    THanks for your help!

    • Hi Sudha,

      You can select all the rows that you want to get colored (entire rows without column headers) and create several rules, a rule per each value in column A, with the following formulas:
      Green: =$A1=1
      Yellow: =$A1=2

      Where A1 is the top-left cell of the selected range.

  107. Sudha says:

    THanks alot it helped!!

  108. Joel says:

    Wow, thanks a lot for those tips, it will help a lot!!!

  109. sabarish says:

    If suppose change the particular cell value from 5 to 3 etc.. now need to highlight color wherever we changed value

    • Hello Sabarish,

      Do you mean you edit the cell manually and you want that cell to change the color once the value is changed? Do you want the cell to keep the color when a workbook is closed and then re-opened?

  110. Erik says:

    I work with students and I need to know if they are behind. If I have a cell that has a text value ("Y" or "N") and one that is counting days (45). How would I get the row to change to red if I have a "N" condition and a >21? Thank you for any help.

    • Hi Erik,

      Try this formula:=AND($B2="N",$D2>21)

      Where $B2 is the first cell of the Y/N column, excluding headers; and $D2 is the first cell of the Days column.

      • Erik says:

        Thank you for the help. It works perfectly. I have over 140 rows. Is there a way to apply the formatting to work individually with each cell without having to manually go to each cell? Thank you again for your help.

        • Simply apply that rule to all 140 rows. Click Conditional Formatting > Manage rules, and change the range in the box under "Applies to". Since you use relative row references in the formula (without the $ sign), the rule will be applied to each row individually.

  111. Marlon says:


    I have problem in solving for the formula. I'd like the three cells have same color with I select name for example "Jimmy".

    Date Doc Id Auditor

    Please advise for the appropriate formula using the conditional formatting.


  112. Tom Wells says:

    Hi, I want each cell in column "D" to be colored Yellow if the value is less than that of the matching cell in that row in column "C". I can do it one at a time but I have hundreds to do. Is it possible to write one conditional format for all?

  113. Jay says:

    I wanted to learn using formula on color changing in a cell as reminder. For instance, if say a lease for Mr. XYZ expires on 15/12/2014 and i want a reminder 2 months in advance to follow up renewal/non-renewal. How do I do that if I wish the color to change and understand that it is time for a follow up?

  114. Lakshmi says:

    Hi Mam,
    i ve to change colour based on a cell value and i couldnt find any answers. for eg., if cell a1 value is 2,the next two coloums must be coloured if it is 3 then next three colums must be coloured. when i increment the cell value the no of colored coloumns must be increased. plz help me...

  115. Shun says:


    I understand conditional formatting well.
    I have set of combinations, each of which corresponds to a row (Say 10 Set with 5 values for each set. So 10 X 5 Table). So If I select any cell in a row, I should project corresponding colour code based on values (5) on this row.

    I can do conditional formatting for colour coding. But how can I take a set of input at a time to do so.

    Can I do this in Excel?

    • Hello Shun,

      If my understanding is correct, you want to pick the color code of the current cell and use it as the background color for all the cells in this row.

      Unfortunately, I don't know the way to fulfill this task using conditional formatting formulas. Most likely, a special VBA macro is needed.

  116. LULU says:

    What if I want to color an entire row with a cell that containing a specific text

  117. Gary Nugent says:

    Svetlana - you're awesome! Thanks so much for the great tutorial. Very helpful in my keyword research efforts - and I will link to this page when I blog about it :-)



  118. Joseph Ward says:

    Hi Svetlana
    I am using excel 2007 I am an absolute begginer to excel and I am trying to create a work sheet to map the progress of a given number of tasks to be done to complete one job before moving on and repeating the same tasks to the next job and so on.
    C2:K2 are tasks to be done, each I have given their own color.
    Apon entering say 091014216(09/10/2014 2.16pm)in the cell under first task I want the intire row to change to that color at the same time adding 10% to K2(% complete)and when I enter say 091014529 in the cell in the next column the color of the row would change from the previous colour to this tasks color (and add 10/20% to K2. And so as the rows get filled with numerous jobs I can at a glance see the the color a particular job is at and and how near completion. I tried the above formula in the new formatting rule window but it only changed the color of the one cell I entered C4 even though I entered =$C4>0. Is this because I`m using 2007 excel? or can this be done?

  119. Jena says:

    This tutorial or instructions looks great, but doesn't work easier at least for me. I am using Excel 2010, whenever I use the formula |=SEARCH("Due in", $E2)>0| I am getting an error :(


    • Hi Jena,

      What exactly error do you get? This is a very simple formula, and there is absolutely no reason for it to produce an error.

      I can think of just 2 possible reasons:

      1. Straight quotes in the formula were replaced with smart quotes while copying. Please try retyping the formula directly in Excel.

      2. You have a different List separators set in your Windows Regional settings, e.g. semicolon, which is the standard for European countries. You can check it in Control Panel > Region and Language > Additional Settings. If this is the case, the correct formula will be =SEARCH(“Due in”; $E2)>0

      If neither is the case, you can send me your sample workbook at support@ablebits.com and we'll try to sort it out.

  120. Paul Jando says:

    Hi I am trying to improve a document in which I am already using conditional formatting. At present, Cell H9 contains a drop down list of equipments, when nothing is selected in H9 the background is blue, however whenever an equipment is selected the cell is set for no highlighted colour. In Cell H49 I have to record the current software version of the equipment, again if the cell is empty the background is blue, if the software version is correct the background is clear, however if the software version has been superseded this cell reverts to red.

    The specific data within H49 is directly related to the data entered in H9, but as yet their conditional formatting is not set up as such, therefore any current version of software is always indicated as being correct, even if the equipment in H9 is not the correct system for the selected software version.

    If as an example the systems are called a, b and c and their software versions are 1a, 3b and 4e, respectively, is it possible to produce a formula that ensures the conditional format of H49 is directly related to the specific data in H9 such that:
    1. With no entry in H49 the background is Blue (This code is curently in use).
    2. Only when H9=a and H49=1a, or H9=b and H49=3b or H9=c and H49=4e, the background is clear(denoting software is up to date).
    3. Any other configuration is highlighted red(Incorrect software version for system selected in H9).

    If you can assist it would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to recieving a response.



    • Hello Paul,

      If my understanding of your task is correct, the following formulas should work a treat.

      So, select the cell you want to highlight (H9 or H49) and create 3 rules:

      Blue: =$H$9=""

      No color: =OR(AND($H$9="a",$H$49="a1"), AND($H$9="c",$H$49="e4"), AND($H$9="b",$H$49="3b"))

      Red: =OR(AND($H$9="a",$H$49="a1"), AND($H$9="c",$H$49="e4"), AND($H$9="b",$H$49="3b"))=FALSE

  121. Paul+Jando says:

    Thank You Svetlana,

    I will try this and provide feedback.


    • Paul+Jando says:

      Hi Svetlana, I have tried your proposed code but it does not appear to work!

      The code for Blue is fine, however I cannot get the other two lines to work correctly!

      When I enter each of the lines a prompt states that there is an error, I am using excell 2007, is there any other suggestion you can offer.

      Thanks Paul.

      • Hi Paul,

        I use Excel 2013, though it should not actually make any difference. The rules work just fine in my sample workbook.

        The only possible reason that comes to mind is that you have a semicolon rather than comma set as List separator in your Windows Regional settings, which is the standard for European countries. You can check this in Control Panel > Region and Language > Additional Settings. If this is the case, then you have to replace all commas with semicolons in the formulas.

        If this does not help, you can send me your workbook at support@ablebits.com, and we will try to figure this out.

  122. Paul+Jando says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    thank you for your reply, I had actually resolved the problem and was about to inform you when I saw your reply.

    The error was part my fault caused when transposing the simplistic example I gave you into the actual values I am using and the use of a semi colon.

    Thank you very much for your assistance.


  123. pradeep kumar says:


    How can hightlight the Name as RED where amount is <5000.

  124. Poc says:

    Hello Svetlana,

    It is possible to highlight current day from a calendar using conditional formatting.

    Thanks in advance

  125. Anonymous says:

    I am currently using Excel 2010. I have a spreadsheet where most of the cells have a VLOOKUP pulling numbers from a separate tab in the same workbook. I am trying to set the cells so that they will change to a yellow fill if their value is not the same as another cell, i.e. J5 not equal to S5; J6 not equal to S6, etc. If the number in S5 changes, I would like it to automatically change J5 to yellow. Currently, I can get J5 to change to yellow when I first apply the conditional formatting and S5 is a different number than J5, but if I change S5 to the same value as J5, it will not remove the yellow fill from J5.

  126. TCP says:

    I have a very large organizational budget spreadsheet with multiple columns for each month. So November has Primarily two columns and, let's guestimate, 500 rows. I want to set the second column of each month up to auto code red/green if it's more than the planned amount for that bill (listed in column A).

    So picture Column A & B, 500 rows (technically still grouped out somewhat). Column A has ... Budget amt and Column B actual bill amt.

    --This would be Col A-- --This would be Column B--
    Nov Power Budget Amt Actual Bill
    LA Power $2700 $2407.22 (Green)
    Chic Power $1800 $2019.85 (Red)
    NY $1200 $1407.25 (Red)
    NewOrl Pow $1000 $859.36 (Green)
    Seattle Pow $3500 $3895.67 (Red)
    Miami Power $5000 $5262.98 (Red)
    MemphisPowr $2000 $1709.24 (Green)
    Denver Pow $4500 $4341.72 (Green)

    Currently I create this massive 12 month spread at the beginning of the year and set conditional formatting by the (i.e.) budget limitation listed in Column A to code Column B. However, this changes as certain bills do fluctuate throughout the year (Power, gas, etc.).

    I'm wondering if there's an easier way to do it? Such as Functions? And could I choose all of Column B above (while it was still empty of values) and set that whole section to 'format' appropriately as the values are entered by the line immediately to the left in Column A - without having to do it line by line? Groups are way better than 500 individual lines!

  127. Anna says:

    Hi everyone

    I have a list of names, ID's, dates and hours and I would like to colour the last hour each day by ID/name. How can I do that?

    Thanks a lot!

    Name ID Date Hour
    A 1 5/11 8AM
    A 1 5/11 6PM (COLOUR THIS ONE)
    A 1 6/11 8AM
    A 1 6/11 12PM
    A 1 6/11 2PM
    A 1 6/11 6PM (COLOUR THIS ONE)
    B 2 5/11 9AM
    B 2 5/11 1PM
    B 2 5/11 2PM
    B 2 5/11 7PM (COLOOUR THIS ONE)
    B 2 6/11 8AM
    B 2 6/11 12PM
    B 2 6/11 2PM
    B 2 6/11 7PM (COLOUR THIS ONE)

  128. Nathaniel says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    What if you want to highlight an entire row using a color scale that applies to only one column? That is, in your first example at the top, you have a Qty column, and you could easily select conditional formatting -> color scales, and select the color scale of choice. But if you want to copy that color scale across the other columns, excel thinks you want to update your color scale with the values in those columns. So if you try copying the formatting from column c to column b, it will just turn column b green and column c red (or whatever color scale you've selected). I want to highlight ALL of the rows by the relative order quantities. Is there a non-vba solution for this?

  129. Toni says:

    Hello Everyone,

    I have a report that I am attempting to use a conditional format to highlight a cell when the date which is locate in a different column is prior to 06/17/13. Can anyone assist me in sharing the formula to use.

    • Hello Toni,

      Select the entire column with the dates you want to highlight (not including the column header, if any) and create a conditional formatting rule using this formula:
      =$A2<"06/17/13 (where A2 is top cell).

  130. Doug says:

    I have a simple need. I need some text in a cell to be of two colors. in "Ending balance: Actual/Budget", the word "Budget" has to be in a different color. When I alter the color on the spreadsheet the program keeps reverting it to black.
    How can I do this?

  131. Toni says:

    Hello Svetlana,

    I tried to used the formula shown above, however when I change the dates in the cell to test the formula it does not make the necessary changes. Also, I want to express that I am using the conditionally formatting in a different column in which the dates are being used.

  132. George Rolls says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I have a column of data that I will be adding to each day. It will occasionally be the case that the data I add will be a duplicate value already in the column above. Is there a formula in conditional formatting, that will highlight when this happens. Unfortunately using 'Remove Duplicates' or adding a filter is not sufficient as I just need the value highlighted straight away.

    Would be great if you could help out.

    best wishes,


  133. Nazmul says:

    i want to get a formula & need your help...
    if cell d1=fail, then color of cell a2 is blue..how can i do this?

  134. KRR+Sharma says:

    I want a useful formula for colouring if a cell value is less or more than original cell value. example, Invoice value is 5000 in cell D cell colour green/white, if received amount is less than 5000 cell colour to be red.

    pls reply.
    krr sharma

    • Select column D and create two rules using the following formulas:

      Green Rule: =IF(AND($F2<>"", $D2>=$F2)

      Red Rule: =IF(AND($F2<>"", $D2<$F2)

      Where F is the column with received amount.

      • Anonymous says:


        I tried with this formula, not working, pls clarify formula If I received an amount entire row coloured by green, If received less than amount entire row should be red.

        KRR Sharma

  135. Rajesh kaushik says:

    Greeting of the day
    I want to formula for automotic bold for example..
    we find something in our data, after find it become automatic bold or color in excel sheet ,plz help us

  136. Dave Staccato says:

    Yeah, I tried the conditional formatting based on an 1000 cell array where I need to highlight rows greater than a value. I even set the range for the values I wanted to check (in a single column, then highlighting the rows that cell is in where my established condition is true).

    I've got nothing. I've got a separate count for the cells in that column where my same condition exists, and I know for sure it is correct.

  137. Dave+Staccato says:

    I found my error, so used to quotations for references. Just had to follow the directions, substitute my settings, and it worked. Thank you for the tip!

  138. Chloe H. says:


    I'm not sure if posted above, but I have one query.

    I am using the conditional formatting formula to highlight a range of cells in a row based on a single cell.

    I need to do this for 100+ rows. All the same range, but one row after another.

    Instead of creating a new condition for each row and cell, can I copy this and apply to each row?

    For example, cells B2 to J2 will highlight when K2 >0.

    Can I copy this to apply to B3 to J3 when K3>0 and so on?

    I would appreciate any help!

    Many thanks :)


    • Shannon says:

      You can usually do this if you use... when$k2>0... This tells it to always use column K. Continue conditional formula as normal.

      Go back to conditional formatting to edit. Under your applies to change it to =$B$2:$J$100. (or whatever your final row is)

  139. Lisa says:


    I am trying to make each row change color if within a date range. For example, I would like a specific color for each month. If I type a January date it will be one color, but a February date would be another. I can't seem to figure out how to write the formula for the date range.


    • Shannon says:

      Lets say your dates are in column A. Click in that cell

      Go to Conditional Formatting. New rule..

      Use a formula to determine which cell to format.

      Under formatting values. Type in =A1="January"

      Click format and choose your color for that month. Say okay. The window will disappear.

      Click again on conditional formatting and go to manage rules. First double click the rule. It should be something like = $A$1="January". Remove the dollar sign before the 1. Leave the 1 before the A. In the applies to change it to =$A$1:$last column letter $ lastrow number

  140. Praween says:

    I have a Question when we find any data in spreadsheet through Ctrl+F than that cell Present in a colour based how to use this query.

  141. Ven says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Could you please help me.
    For example, if A1 have a text then B1 will be filled by color,
    if A2 have a text then B2 will be filled by color.

    I trying to do the formula, but the result is Even A2 blank, B2 filled by color.
    Any idea for the formula.

  142. Jatin says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Could you please help me.

    I want to change the value of cell based on this condtion.

    if A1 cell is coloured Green and B1 cell has value "Yes"
    than B2 automatically gets converted into "Yes".

    Thanks in Advance

  143. Brooke says:

    If I have a worksheet with data across columns A to G, I want to use the formula =MOD(ROW(),2)=0
    to alternate row colours BUT I need to be able to insert rows sometimes when the data in Column D needs to be the same colour as row above .....

    Thanks in advance

  144. arvind says:

    Q. 2 If we put the value >0 to <2000 in column B then column C should be red. In conditional formating

    Value Cell Color

    Need Solve

  145. Anonymous says:

    Any one Help me

    Q. 2 If we put the value >0 to <2000 in column B then column C should be red. In conditional formating

    Value Cell Color

    Need Solve

  146. Abhishek says:

    In my excel I have two columns Colum B "Account Type" and Column C "Account name"
    Column C has all the account names such as Global travel etc... and Column B which is account type as either Account or Agency mentioned in the cells

    What I am looking for is to have a formula which highlights cells in column B and C when it finds the word "Travel", "Tour", "Agency" in column C and word "Account" in column B .

    Please note it should only highlight when both these criteria are met

  147. Motwaly says:

    Hi Svetlana


    could you please assist I need to give each row contain the same cell value same color, example entire row contain B10060000005 with green, B10060000008 blue ...etc, thank you

  148. Zoudan says:

    Awesome, thank you SO much!!

  149. ericalee says:

    Hi there, thank you for your helpful article! I am making a two sheet workbook intended to show my company what customers we can contact to let them know a product that they are looking for is coming in on our next shipment. The first sheet is the customer's information and in column A is the style number of the product they are looking for. The second sheet will be where we copy and paste the style numbers of everything we are expecting in on our next shipment. I need to make each row in sheet 1 highlight if the value in column A matches any value in column A of the second sheet. Note, I will be deleting and reentering all style numbers in column A of the second sheet to always be showing our most current shipment, so I cannot enter a specific value to match in the formula because it will always be changing. Thank you for your help on this!

  150. chantel says:

    Can you please help me with my formula?!

    =OR($D>=20%, $E=8%, $E>=4,$E=3%, $E>=7)

    =OR($D<=20%, $E<=3),OR($D=4,$E<=6),OR($D=7)

    1-3 ranking + ctr >20% = green
    1-3 ranking + ctr 8% = green
    4-6 ranking + ctr 3% = green
    7-10 ranking + ctr <3% = red


  151. kishore ssk says:

    Hi Experts,

    I have copy pasted data from some website and pasted the content in a cell , say "HELLOWORLD". HELLO is in blue and WORlD is in black.I need to put a ',' after the blue font. so it looks "HELLO,WORLD"
    Can i do it? if yes how ?

    Note- for limited number of records i could have done it manually but i have lakhs of records and i cannot do it all alone manually.
    I want to automate it with some code.

    Please help

    Thanks in advance

  152. Hardik says:


    There is any data in xls but somewhere we are correcting the numbers so i want to highlight such raws where we are doing the correction.

    Can you please help me with this?


  153. Tom says:

    How to change a row color based on a number in a single cell worked great. Except I also have your formula to count cells by color and the colors for the conditional formatted cells shows as "no color" in the cells formatting.

  154. maricel says:

    hi just asking please help how to change the color automatically if i input # 4 it will change in other sheet in the entire row it will change color blue.

    for ex. 1 pink
    2 yellow
    3 green
    4 blue


    My problem is when I put formula in one the background and font color should change accordingly.
    For example:
    A B C D E F G H I
    5 6000 5500 -500 I WANT THIS CELL BACKGROUND RED

  156. Bharath Kumar R says:

    Hi Svetlana Cheusheva,
    I wanted to send reminders to the stakeholders while exceeding 3 days from last reminder date. I have used the below formatting but I could not highlight the entire rows and also want to ignore weekends (Saturday and Sunday).
    Formula used, E.g.,
    Thank you.

    • Hi Bharath,

      First off, please check whether your rule applies to the entire rows you want to highlight (without the column headers).

      Assuming that the last reminder date is in column D, you need to change your formula as follows:


      Please pay attention that $D2 should be a mixed cell reference (absolute column - with $ and relative row - without $).

      Finally, create one more rule to exclude Saturday and Sunday (do not choose any fill color), move it to the top of the rules list and check "Stop if true" next to it:


  157. Chris says:

    I need a formula that will make cell "A3" turn Green when cells "E3 through L3" contain the letter "Y"

    and also

    "A3" turn Red when cells "E3 through L3" contain the letter "N"

  158. Sophie says:

    Hi Svetlana

    I am trying to figure how to format my worksheet so that it identifys by changing colour if a number is less than the number it was previously e.g. something weighing 12kg then in the next coloum, ideally they will be 13. But if it ends up weighing less, e.g. 11, then it would highlight this for the entire worksheet not just for the one row/cell.
    Are you able to help me? I am tearing my hair out!

  159. Prashant Johari says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I am trying to automatic highlight the high value in each row.

    For Example threre are some figure in each coloum i.e. :-

    ColumnA ColumnB ColumnC ColumnD
    1. p 10 15 12
    2. n 15 12 14
    3. q 10 04 20
    4. r 15 20 25

    now, which condition i used that the autmatic highlight the high vlue in each row.

    Prashant Johari

  160. senthil says:

    thank you so much Svetlana Cheusheva

  161. Omar says:

    I need to change the colour of the font in the row that the date is three years from today (All expired items). When I use conditional formatting the column the date only changes please help. Regds, Omar

  162. Bruce says:

    I have a task I perform on a date and I enter the date into Cell A1. What I want to do is have the cell B1 turn to red when I am 7 days past the date I entered into Cell A1. Can you tell me how to do this?

  163. Jason James says:

    Thank you Svetlana, this article was very helpful.

  164. Kyle VandenLangenberg says:

    How about highlighting a block of cells based on the value changes in just a single column.

    For instance, say I have columns A and B. Down column A I have numbers like 1,1,1,2,2,3,3,3,3,4,4,4,5,5,5, and whats down column B is non-consequential for this example. Every time column A changes value (from 1 to 2, 2 to 3, and so on), I want to highlight the cells in both column A and B with a different color. The color can simply rotate between two colors.

    Say it was setup like this (x is just some other information)

    A B
    1 x
    1 x
    2 x
    2 x
    2 x
    3 x
    3 x

    I want A1,A2,B1,B2 to be one color, then A3,A4,A5,B3,B4,B5 to be another, and so on.

    Thanks for the help in advance.

  165. Hollywil says:

    I would like the entire row to be highlighted based on the contents of column I ---- either that there is NO value (rather than ANYTHING) if that's possible.... or if there is a "," in the cell text.
    Thank you so much for any help that you can provide.

    • Hollywil says:

      Let me try that again.
      I've tried a few of the combinations posted, but it only ever changes the background for the I column, not the entire row. Also, I would like this specific formatting to begin with Cell I2, rather than I1.
      Thanks again.

    • Hi Hollywil,

      Before creating a rule, you need to select the entire rows you want to highlight for a rule to get applied to several columns rather than a single column.

      Also, when creating a rule, make sure that you select a range of cells beginning with row 2. You can use the following formulas in your rules:

      Highlight rows with "NO" value in column I:

      If there is a comma in column I:
      =SEARCH(",", $I2)

  166. JACK says:

    Hello Svetlana,
    I want to get the next cell in my row to have a specific color highlight depending on my current cell having a date or number or text. I want a different color for each type of entry. I am a novice and have researched much. I have found the best info here but i still cant figure it out.
    Any guidance would be appreciated.
    Thank you,

  167. Roy says:

    I column that contain numbers ranging from -001 to -374.

    I want to have a cell that if I type in a matching number to any of the -001 to -374, then the row containing the matched number will be highlighted.
    Please can you help.

  168. Julie says:

    your blog has helped me so much but I just need a bit more help, I am using the following formula to shade a whole row green once the word 'completed' has been added to cell M but I would really like this to be a 'date' rather than the word 'completed', I have tried a few things but I am a beginner on excel. The formula I am using is =$M2="COMPLETED" is there an easy way to change this to a date? thanks in advance

  169. Julie says:

    Thanks for your help Svetlana, that is almost perfest but I want the formula to work whatever date I put in column M, is it possible? :-)

    • Julie,

      Of course, it's possible. In this case, the formula is even simpler :)

      To color a row if a cell in column M is not empty (contains any value - number, date or text):

      To color a row if a cell in column M is a number or date (dates are stored as serial numbers in Excel), but do not color a row if column M contains a text value:

  170. Bob says:

    Thanks for answering all of our questions!

    I have a problem with using this formula.

    I have 9 columns A to J

    i'd like to have a row changed to a specific colour depending on the contents of the cell in column C

    C has two states, 'INSTALLED' and 'REMOVED'

    essentially if the cell reads 'REMOVED' then i want that row to be colored yellow. If it reads 'INSTALLED' i want it colored green.

    It seemed like you already covered this in the article but your process did not work for me. I even tried adding new test rows and changing the value of the cell in column C but there was no change.

    The formulae i used were "=$C="REMOVED" and "=$C=INSTALLED"

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Bob,

      You need to refer to your top-most cell in the formula. For example, if your data begins in row 2, the formulas are as follows:


      • Bob says:

        after trying it again, i realised that i had selected the cells using the column headers rather than selecting the cells by draggin a selection or shift-clicking.

        All seems to work now!


  171. Ganesh says:

    I have a data with Columns; Entry No, Date, Activity, Target Date, and Completion Status.
    I want My rows color to change based on Target Date and Completion Status.
    if Target date is within 7 days row colour must be Orange.
    if Target date is due row colour must be red.
    If Completion status is completed row colour must be Green
    pls hlp me

  172. Karan says:

    Hey Admin. Hoping you could help me out here.
    In my excel sheet i have columns for start date, number of months and end date. If the number of months is 7, 2 columns, i.e column D and E must get highlighted. If number of months is 3, columns D,E and F must be highlighted. How can i do this. Please help.

  173. Farhat says:


    I am having trouble changing cell colours for some reason. I have used the formulas as suggested but the formula will not work. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong! I want to change the colour of the cells in the L column if they are blank and if the cells in the W column have been entered as 'No'. I have entered the formula as =AND(L2="",W2="No"). Could you tell me what I am doing wrong as I cannot work it out?

    Many thanks

  174. justin says:

    Hi Admin

    What i want is really very simple but im having trouble.
    i have 6 colums 2A to 2F i want all the background colours red there will be a number in colum 2A and 3A and when i put a number in colum 4A i want all colums 2A to 2F to change to gree ?


  175. P suresh says:

    Hi admin

    how to highlighted condtional formatting color col A number above col B also colour not updated 0.



  176. Karl says:

    I would like to be able to change a row to a colour if the cell G2 contains "A" to yellow "B" to green and "C" to red. I would like to continue this in all rows of column G. My issue is I can do this for row 2 but when I try to do it for the column G when I put text in 'G2' it changes all other rows.
    Will I have to create a macro?

    • Hi Karl,

      A macro is not needed in this case, the task can be handled by a conditional formatting rule. The key point is to use proper cell references - absolute column and relative row: =$G2="A"

      Also, make sure you apply the rule to a range beginning with the same row as referenced in the formula, row 2 in your case.

  177. P suresh says:

    Hi admin

    how to highlighted condtional formatting color row A number above row B also colour not updated 0.



  178. QeMe says:

    I want to highlight a CELL based on number of times its values changed.

    1)IF the cell value is changed '2nd TIME' it should highlight "Green".

    2)IF the cell value changes '3rd TIME', it should highlight "BLUE" and so on...

  179. Reuben says:

    I have entered a date and time in a cell and I want the cell next to it to turn green in exactly 24 hrs. How do I do this?

  180. Sam says:

    I am trying to fill an entire row a different colour depending on date(month).

    I have set up conditional formatting to give different colours in the cell containing the date using cell value, but I cannot make this stretch across the row, every formula I have tried does not work.

    How can I get around this?

  181. Usman Asif says:

    My Online Teacher :)

  182. Ashok says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    I have an excel file which is shared between 4 people and conditional formatting doesnt work on a share file.
    What would you recommend?
    I want to change the color of a row from E4:G4 if the text value of Cell I4 is "Done".


  183. Rzak says:

    Hi Dear,

    Is there any way to highlight number of cells based on entering a number on first cell for instance; i enter number 10 and automatically it highlights 10 cells ahead?

    Thanking you in advance

  184. Karyn says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    I was looking for a way to visually separate rows by category with color, I have 1-3 rows in a row that can be the same category. As if I could control the banded color of a table based on a variable - So the best I came up with was identifying whether the variable was new or the same as the last row, so there is one variable that just says "New" or "Same". I am trying to get all the "New" rows one color and all the "Same" another color. I am having trouble with the formula to highlight the whole row based on cell text, it only wants to highlight the cell or it highlights every row. The formulas are =$E$2="New" and =$E$2="Same" applied it to the whole range but it doesn't work. Am I missing a step? Or is there a better way to visually separate by a variable for viewing purposes?


  185. Hannah Molloy says:

    I’m not sure if this is still open for questions but if so, I would really appreciate your help.
    In column A I have a list of sites. In column B I have a set of random dates which highlight the day in which these sites had been uploaded to the excel sheet. In columns C,D and E I have names (E.G C; John, D; David, E; Sam). These last three columns also have drop down menus with an option which needs to be selected for each site row. If any individual has not selected an option from the list when Column B had passed 5 days I need each of the name columns to turn orange. If the date passes 10 days I need the name cells for that row to turn RED. Is this possible with conditional formatting? I have seen this done previously but the sheet had been deleted so I am unable to copy formula. Can you please help?

  186. lingamurthy says:

    helo guys,

    I need a help on excel where i have 500 id numbers in duplicates. like

    Id subject grade
    1001 xxxx

  187. lingamurthy says:

    helo guys,

    I need a help on excel where i have 500 id numbers in duplicates. like

    Id subject grade
    1001 xxxx A
    1001 YYYY A
    1002 XXXX B
    1002 YYYY EX
    1001 ZZZZ B

    i have data like above. Here what I need is, want to highlight id column with different colors. Id should get same color even if i have duplicate data in workbook. Please help me out on this. Thanks in advance.

  188. Boniface says:

    I am trying out this example on my Excel 2013 and I get an error that "we found a problem with this formula.."
    I have defined a rule with the formula below:
    =OR($D2="Due in 1 days",$D2="Due in 7 days")

    • Hello Boniface,

      Most likely the problem is in a different List Separator. This formula is written with a comma, which is the default List Separator in North America and some other countries. In European countries the comma is reserved as the Decimal Symbol and the List Separator is set to semicolon. So, try replacing "," with ";" like this:

      =OR($D2="Due in 1 days";$D2="Due in 7 days")

  189. Valeria says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    thank ypu very much for your post. Really useful. I just have the problem that saving and reopening the file,it doesn't keep the conditional formatting set. Do you know whay it might be?

    Thank you very much in advance,

  190. farid says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Im having some problem. Let say my table is as follow:

    A B C D E F G
    1 2 3 4 5
    6 7 8 9 10

    I want to change the cell's colour based on the other cell value, for example:

    A B
    1 DONE
    2 NOT
    3 DONE
    4 DONE
    5 DONE

    If the word in column B is 'done", the cell 1 in the upper table will turn blue, let say. How to do it? The sequence of the numbers in upper table also not in order. It involve a lot of numbers and im not able to do it cell by cell. Please help me..

  191. Derrick says:

    I'm trying to make a cell match the color of another cell. I want A2 to match K2 (which is a date) the same color. K2 is formatted to change to red when it is 90 days out from today.

  192. Steve says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    I am trying to conditionally format a row of numbers based on a manually entered number in cell c4 my data is from cell A11 to I39 for ex if I enter a random number between 10 & 24 in cell C4 I would like the corresponding row to be a different color, I have managed to do this but it will only format the FIXED numbers from A11 to A39. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me its driving me crazy..

  193. Pam says:

    What formula would I use, if I want the text of a row to be red if one particular cell is blank and another is not blank in said row.

  194. Vijay Kshirsagar says:

    I am trying to conditionally format a row which is reference another cell.
    EX - IF A1 is some number like(1/2/3/4) & B1 is YES/NO.
    if in A1(1)=B1(No) then A1 become condition by color & if Yes another color.

  195. excel toy says:

    Hello All,

    i am facing one issue:

    suppose in a row, there is one box with green color.

    what formula should i use for this to know that in row we have different color?

  196. Ben says:

    You have saved Preston. Thank you.

  197. Dean says:

    Hi There, Can someone please help me with a conditional formatting to change a whole line colour based upon whether its Saturday or Sunday.

    I am using =E12+1 where E12 is a date 01/01/16 to have my cell look like this Saturday, 2 January 2016

    I had supposed using =SEARCH("Saturday",$E13)>0 to change the whole line but obviously the formula for dating does not contain "Saturday"

  198. Paige says:

    Hi, I am trying to conditionally format cells in one column based on overdue dates in another column. Specifically, I want cells in column A to turn red if the date in column P (corresponding row) is past due. When I set my conditional formatting for column A, this is the formula I have inputted: =$P2=TODAY . I also want to set up a second rule for due dates 90 days out, where the corresponding row in A turns blue. This is the formula I have inputted for this conditional format: =$P2<TODAY+90 . Neither format is working however, so I know I'm doing something wrong. Can you point me in the right direction? Thank you!

  199. Kasu says:


    1-3,7-9,13-15 till last row how can change "Bold" in VBA
    4-6,10-12,16-18 till last row how can change "Italic" in VBA

    Please give me suggestions.

  200. Sam says:

    I want to colour my bar chart "bars" based on the text written inside the bar chart "bars". ( ie if "A" is written in first bar- the bar colour should turn to red, if "B", then blue and so on), the text in the bar is dynamic and changes with the data.
    Can you please advise.

  201. rathna kishore says:

    I want to colour my employee id numbers with red and green which is randomly upto 1200 numbers anybodycan you help me to make conditional format on this

  202. SUMIT RANA says:

    I want to color my a row which contain "E" in a cell of that row.
    please provide me a solution for my problem

  203. Andy says:

    Is it possible to use conditional formatting to put a coloured border underneath a row where the date in column A changes.

    So if you had a table with:
    It would put a different coloured border under each different (unique) date.

  204. Gloria says:

    If I want to highlight any cell in the column that contains a number larger than the previous one in the same column, what should I do?


    pleas sand me condition formatting function.

  206. robi says:

    How to change automatically the text color based on a cell's matched text in Excel

  207. Darcy Pace says:

    Hi Svetlana

    Not from want of trying, I have failed to have a colour of a row changed from red to green if column F has a number in it

    On another sheet I would like to mark the whole row as green if the number in column R is greater than 65.

    Please help


  208. Jennifer says:

    I am using the following formula that I pieced together after some research online. It seems to be working in the example I tried it on, but I don't fully understand the entire formula. I want to interpret so I can figure out whether or not it will work for similar checks and balances. The formula and reason are as follows:

    Looking for a cond format that will fill column D if its respective C cell is not the same value/text (d1="x" and c1=""), but will not fill is column d is blank, d and c are blank, and d and c match.

    Can you help interpret the formula and if it will work for an entire spreadsheet comparing 2 columns (separate conditional formats)?

  209. Zed Sefi says:

    Dear Sir,

    This is a very valuable post. I learned a lot from it.

    I was wondering if there is a way to change the color of a cell "Only" when the value of the sell change from a certain value to another, without changing other cells that got same value under the same formula.

    I will try to explain better: I have "Stock" column which has only one of two values in its celle: either "0" or "10".

    Items that are out of stock have value of "0" while any other item that is in stock (or comes back to stock) get value updated to "10" because we never re-stock items less than 10 units minimum in quantity.

    My issue is not by having items becoming out of stock because we have a control on this. The issue is that some items come back to stock but we never notice early, therefore we miss the chance to increase the quantity as the quantity will remain zero in the marketplaces we are selling our items on.

    With your code, I was able to use formula "$C2<0", however, it changes to color to all items that we have "10" in quantity, regardless whether they were already having "10" or got updated from zero to ten, making your formatting formula not very beneficial to me.

    Is there a way to highlight only the cells that specifically get values updated from zero to ten without affecting the cells that already got value of "10" in first place?

    I look forward to hearing from you or anyone else who has the knowledge of dealing with this matter.

    Best regards,
    Zed Sefi

  210. Zed Sefi says:

    Apologies. The formatting formula we are using is "$C2>0", cheers. Z

  211. Savinn says:

    Hi Svetlana,
    there are two things GOOD & BAD (say 2 ROWS)
    I want a formula that will make "BAD" row Backgroud RED in color and NO COLOR IF GOOD
    So Is it possible that certain formula for colors exist?

  212. Pedro says:

    Peoples i need help as i suck with excel.

    I would like a row to be highlighted if there is nothing in the last two cells of that row. However there would be data in each of the other cells in said row.

  213. NIRAV says:

    HI, i have data in two column in one excel sheet, now in another sheet i am linking the same data by clicking + sign. But Data is linking but the problem is: when i changed cell color in one sheet its not changing in another excel sheet particularly for that cells only

    pl help

  214. JP says:


    I use excel to create daily reports for my team. It involves copying data from an internal site and pasting it into excel so i can manipulate it and make it useful for us. The problem is the data comes with links (which I need). This ruins any conditional formatting I may have on the template used to create the reports.

    Is it possible to keep the source formatting and have text in a single cell change the color of a row?

  215. Neel says:

    Thank you

  216. madiha says:

    I have two columns with dates. I have shaded the first column with some specific dates. I want to shade same dates in the second columns with the help of some formulas.

  217. MUNEER says:

    I Need help from u
    i wants color to colum in 1-10 then after 10-20colum i needed to give another color how can i?

  218. Maddie says:

    I want to change the font color of cells if the Status is "NO REPLY". How will I do that?

  219. Krish says:

    I have three tabs, one (Definition Tab) having definitions like Small, Medium, Large, & X Large and Time to complete work for each size in weeks are 3, 4, 6 and 8 respectively. The second tab (Forecast Tab)has weeks in columns starting week 1 till week 53 of an year and 4 Rows as Small, Medium, Large and X Large. The third tab (Customer Tab) has customer name, Size, resource name, work start week, delay if any, total weeks as columns and each row represent different customers.

    I want to have the rows in second tab (Forecast Tab) highlighted with colors. For eg: if size of a customer is Large (6 Weeks), work start week column is having value 8, & delay if any has value 3, 9 (6+3) columns against a newly added row in forecast tab need to be highlighted with Yellow automatically. Like wise, any input modification done to the customer tab, based on definitions, the forecast tab should get a row added under the weeks accordingly.

    Appreciate your help is getting this using Excel 2010 or above.

    thanks in advance.

  220. Mr. Barry E. Singleton says:

    I have three columns ("Invoice Inc. VAT", "Credit Inc. VAT" and "Balance Inc. VAT").
    I would like to have the values in the "Balance Inc. VAT" column to be displayed in red when the other two columns ("Invoice Inc. VAT" and "Credit Inc. VAT") are not equal.
    When the values in the "Invoice Inc. VAT" and the "Credit Inc. VAT" columns are equal, I would like the values in the "Balance Inc. VAT" column to be displayed in black.
    I have tried two Conditional Formatting rules (one for "Less Than" and one for "Equal To") but all the values in the "Balance Inc. VAT" column just show red.
    Pleas can you help?

  221. Chad says:

    I have four columns. The first one has a name and the next three have numbers. If the first three columns are all 0 I want the name to turn red. Only if they are all 0 though. If just 1 is above 0 it needs to turn yellow. If they are all above 0 then it needs to turn green. Is there any way I can do this?

  222. Lynn says:

    I have a spreadsheet that is currently in red font. In column F an x is placed if that row has been edited. Is there a formula that can be used so that when the x is placed in column F the entire row changes to a black color font?

  223. JENNY says:

    Can you please help me, I'm working on a spreadsheet and I want my J4:AI4 to change it font color to red with the following condition: if column G = 10, column I < 17 and column G = 20, column I <7 and the even rows from J6 to J1154 < 0.

  224. ewan e says:

    Hi there,

    so on my Excel, I have color shaded for the status, green for good, red for bad, etc.

    Now I need to change those colors to a status value in text i.e. good, bad, opportunity for a migration to a CRM?

    is there an easy way to do this for several hunrded entries on Excel?


  225. Shoaibchaudhary says:

    hi there,

    its very nice and helpfull,


  226. Param Singh says:

    Thank you very much. This is exactly what I was digging in Microsoft help center for 30 min.

  227. Saran says:


    I need to change the cell color based on the previous cell value.

    For example
    A B

    If B2 value is greater than A2, then B2 value automatically change into green color. If it is less than A2, then I need to change into red color like wise it will need to happen when C2>B2, D2>C2 etc…

    Is there any way to do this?

    Thank you for your help.

  228. sudha says:

    Is it possible to insert icon sets from different sheet in the same workbook

  229. laura says:

    I have a table where the text in column N is either "Live" or "Off-hired" and I would like the whole row to be highlighted whenever "live" occurs. I have tried a number of the formulas above but I can't seem to get it to work.
    please can you help?
    Thank you very much :)

  230. Mike says:

    Are we able to check one column as once? Is it possible to check entire worksheet for a keyword(s) and then highlight all the rows have hit in different columns?

  231. Mike says:

    I am sorry. My question was a bit confusion. Here is the revised one: Are we only able to check one column at once? Is it possible to check entire worksheet for a keyword(s) and then highlight all the rows have hit in different columns?

    • Hi Mike,

      I don't know a way to check the entire worksheet. However, if there are a limited number of columns to check, you can use the following formula to highlight rows that contain a specific text in any of the concatenated columns:

      Where 1 is the top row that you want to highlight.

  232. kelli says:

    very helpful thank you!

  233. naseef says:

    if a column contains "any date" i want to fill a color to the entire row in excel

  234. Imad says:

    Thank you for this site that produces excellent information.
    I would request your help!
    I have a table and one cell will contain (Paid 1, Paid 2, Paid 3).Each will be written after one month. These refer to other cells of payments. (payment 1) (Payment 2) and Payment 3). So I need each cell of payment to be highlighted if I write (Paid 1, Paid 2, Paid 3) in the last cell.
    Appreciate your help

  235. Imad says:

    Payment 1 Payment 2 Payment 3 Payment 4 Paid 1, 2, 3, 4

  236. Imad says:

    Thank you
    I found the solution.
    This could be applied to all payments.

  237. Claire Nash says:

    Hi Svetlana,

    Can you help please?

    I have seen above the following

    "I have one column (J) which is "date of sale". This only has a value if a sale has been made. So, I want to highlight all the rows which have a date in column J (essentially highlighting all the rows where I have made a sale, and leaving the ones where the sale has not been closed blank) with your response of Try selecting the whole table and then create the formatting rule with this formula =$J2"" (assuming that your table has headers). It will color all the rows that have any value in column J."

    I have a similar issue but its for 2 columns (E and H) but a date will only be in on or the other - never both. hope this makes sense.

    would really appreciated your help please :-)

    i am trying to make this work with dates in either column e or f

    Sorry to trouble you, but I cannot make this work for a date!
    I have one column (J) which is "date of sale". This only has a value if a sale has been made. So, I want to highlight all the rows which have a date in column J (essentially highlighting all the rows where I have made a sale, and leaving the ones where the sale has not been closed blank)
    Can you help?

  238. Dave says:

    Hi Svetlana
    Thank you very much for doing this, very clear and easy to follow, much appreciated.



  239. Chris W says:

    I wondered if you might be able to help.
    I have a spreadsheet on which I detail all my spending each month with a column for each shop/supermarket.
    In A1 I have today's date with the formula / =TODAY() /
    In Column A I have the date and have done conditional formatting so that this cell is highlighted if it is the same date as A1.
    What I really want to do is highlight (change the colour of) the whole row when the date in column A = today's date.
    Thank you

  240. Zohaib says:


    Thanks for such a useful page.

    I want to extract only year from the date column feed with different formats, but unable to do so.

    Please help me with this.

    Best Regards,

  241. Paul Carville says:


    I have created a live-spreadsheet for Orders with 'Date Required' and 'ETA' columns in them.

    I would like the dates in the 'ETA' to be highlighted if they are greater than the dates stated in the 'Date Required' column.

    I can get this to work on individual Rows through Conditional Formatting but cannot repeat the process on a large scale through-out the entire sheet.

    Please let me know if you can help.

  242. Solomon says:


    Is there anyway to highlight a row based on a cell value that's on another sheet in the same workbook?

    for instance, cell B7 in Sheet1 contains a decimal value (in this case, it is 5). And the condition is, highlight the range A2:B6 in Sheet 2. But the cell B7 in Sheet1 is dynamic. Hence if i enter 7, the range A2:B8 in sheet 2 must be highlighted.

    Is this achievable through conditional formatting?

  243. Chuck says:

    Hello Svetlana,

    I would like to format a cell color based on two other cells meeting certain conditional formats. To be specific I have a cell (G16) that will be highlighted in a color based on the value in that cell not being between the values in C117 and D117. I have a second cell (H16) that will be highlighted if the calculated value in that cell is not between C118 and D118.
    If the conditions in both G16 and H16 are met, then I want to highlight cell I16 in a second color. Is there a way to do this?

  244. Kirstie says:


    Not sure if this will make sense but I NEED HELP!! I have a list of 60 names and their leave. When a cell is populated I need it to turn yellow, when it goes over 15% of the column being populated I want it to turn Red.

    I think this is possible with Conditional Formatting but I can't seem to get it to work. Obviously I might be way out but I have created the formula at the bottom of the column so I have one rule to say the cell is less than 64 turn it yellow then a second rule that says if it is greater than 64 turn the cell red. It just doesn't colour any cell.

    Is there anything you can help with?

  245. Corinna says:

    Oh my goodness! Do you know how long I was trying to figure this out??? Thank you so much... The help function in Excel did not help me and I'm pretty good with Excel...SMH...Thank you!

  246. gfelter88 says:

    I have a rather large worksheet with workorders that need to be completed. For each workorder a specific skillcode is recquired. On a daily basis, I have a set amount of available hours for production. I've added a column that adds the amount of workorders that can be completed on a day until I've hit the maximum for that day. In the following cell it starts to calculate again.

    Example: I have 60 hours available, and in column D I have the amount of hours per workorder. Column E has an if statement that says when the hours in D have hit 60 hours, start the calculation from the start: E19 = 59.2 hours -> E20= 6 (the required time for this new workorder). I want to format the worksheet in such a way that each time it starts the calculation again, a different color is used (E2:E19 = blue, then E20:26 = red and so on). Can you perhaps help me out on this?

  247. Jubayer Nayeem says:

    I want colored two different values with two different colors which is in one cell. How I can?

  248. Zeeshan A Siddiqui says:

    Hi, I need help with excel.

    I have database of my daily work tasks which includes dates in one column and in the other columns I have other datas that are mostly in text. Now I need an excel code/function that can provide a "summary of tasks" that I did by each date listed and a respective count of how many tasks were completed on that specific dates. For example if only 10-december, I have 4 entries of work and on 11th-december, I had 14 then the excel should count and prepare a summary of my work like this

    Summary of Work

    Dates Tasks Completed

    10-december 4
    11-december 14

    If somebody can prepare a format or a code and post it, I would really appreciate it. Please note, the excel code should also reflect any changes I make on the dates or counts. For example, if I find that the date was incorrect and I change it to 12-december, the summary should reflect that right away.
    thank you.

  249. Shyamali says:

    Thanks, SEARCH helped solve my problem statement.

  250. Al says:

    Hello - I'm trying to use conditional formatting to check row by row within a range (A:G) for any blank cells. If there is a blank cell in the range I want to highlight the cell for that specific row in column A red. I want formula / conditional formatting to be able to do this for each row through the entire spreadsheet.

    Example for Row 2: If cell C2 is blank within range A2:G2, I want to highlight cell A2 red.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  251. Elaine Cassidy says:

    Hi I need to use this example but it wont work for me. Im using it to look at the status of work so i have 4 statuses complete, active, Not Confirmed and Cancelled. I want to change each row colour when i change the status of the job. I have tried your example as per above highlighting all my area so its highlighted from A6:P31 then created a new rule with the formula =SEARCH("Active",$F$6)=0 it works but changes every row on the sheet. I want it to just change that one row? what am i doing wrong? Row F wil always be my status bar and i have about 100 rows of work im looking at?

    Hope you can help.


  252. Grady says:

    Hi, I hope you can assist. I am needing something like this done in a VBA macro.

    I am using both 2007 and 2010 version of MS Office Excel.

    Problem: Store POS does not have Low Inventory Report built in (free/cheap version). We download a CSV file with 3 fields: Item, Category and Balance. We then manually add 3 more fields: Previous Balance, Quantity Received and Quantity Sold. The CSV is then filtered to copy only items we still carry to a new workbook (old items can not deleted from the POS Inventory). A macro is used to separate items based on category name to different worksheets.

    We have over 100 different categories, each category has a different number of items. Item Name (Column A) cell is colored based on Quantity on Hand and Number Sold. If Quantity on hand = 0, cell is Red, If Quantity on hand = 1 or 2, cell is colored yellow; if Sold = 1 - 3 then cell is colored Blue and if Sold is higher than 3 then the cell is Green. If The Quantity is 0-2 AND the Sold is 1 or higher, then the text will be bold and colored the Sold colors (Blue or Green) while the cell is still filled with the On Hand Colors (Red or Yellow).

    Doing the conditional formatting manually for every worksheet takes me a couple hours. Is it possible to use a VBA macro to do all worksheets for all conditioning? If you can show the script to get me started, I would appreciate it. I can do a script for a single worksheet when the range (number of rows) is known and also for a single condition. If possible, 1 macro to do all worksheets (total number of worksheets can change) and more than one condition.

  253. Deb says:

    Thank you Svetlana and everyone. Your Q&A have helped me in learning more about Excel.

  254. Robin says:

    I am trying to make a planning with excel.

    I have set up the following conditional formatting:


    I don't want to set up this rule for every single cell so I will have 200 rules eventually.

    Is there a way to dynamically applie this one rule to all the necessary cells? like doing with the value of some cells if you want to quickly fill those cells. Then you can just fill in 2 values and pull the values across the necessary cells and Excel will automatically fill in the right values.

  255. Merc says:

    Hi, I am formatting our worksheet and each values must change color depending on it, so I was wondering how to apply the conditional formatting on over 2000 rows.

  256. Tebogo Ranyane says:

    1.Customer 2.Description 3.Status 4.Del Date 5.Billing date 6.Order Val 7.Comments


    Points 1-7 are my coloumns. I want to apply a rule whereby the status on each specific row will change the colour of more than one cell in that row (2,3,4,5,6), like for instance, if job complete the row should turn green.
    However my limitation at the moment is that I can only apply this one row at a time whereas I need a rule that can apply to the specified rows...

    I hope that I am making sense.

  257. Adnan Shahzad says:

    I want fill colour in cell by formula, but I have different sheet of issue from and final report sheet separator in another sheet but I one worksheet
    And I have all ready one formula in.final report sheet.
    So help me how I can make formula

  258. Adnan Shahzad says:

    Old formula is

  259. RStan says:

    I have a financial sheet that I use, once the check has cleared the bank I highlight the cell. I am trying to figure out the format that will change the total in the summed cell when I highlight the payees cell but not change the value (amount) within the cell (once highlighted the value becomes zero, but leaves the amount in the cell), reflecting the amount that was paid, but affecting the end state balance.

  260. Mary says:

    Hello Sevtlana,

    I saved an excel sheet from the "searchmyfiles" app. It's an inquiry for duplicate file names on all my drives. I've sorted them by duplication number which range from 1 to over 1000 files that have duplicates. I have some files that have been duplicated up to 10 times. I'd like to highlight every other duplication number (NOT every other row). Can you help me with that, please?

  261. Summit says:

    Hi Sevtlana,

    Could I please request your help.

    I am having a trouble in colouring a cell , which is dependent on the value of other cell in different TAB but same worksheet. for example , if source cell has value between 90 & 100 , destination cell should reflect green colour..

    Can you help.

    • Hi, Summit,
      to solve the task you need to use "AND" function in the formatting rule. If you mean that you work within one workbook, where the source cells are in the TAB2, column A, and the destination cells are in the TAB1, column A, the formula will look like this:

      If you mean, that you work with different workbooks – change 'TAB' into '[Tab.xlsx]SHEETNAME' accordingly.
      To understand how the sheet references work, feel free to check this article out.

  262. doreen says:

    Hi there,

    How do I change a colour on a row of columns when a particular column is typed into eg in that column I will type YES and the entire column line turns green?

  263. Stephen Metzger says:

    Your first example doesn't work. In fact, the picture that shows the result doesn't even show what you say it does.

  264. Fred says:

    Hello first of all, very grateful for the article and your help.

    What I’m trying to do is basically have 4 rules determine what colour to highlight an entire row based on what percentage it is in a cell. Not sure if they can be combined or not.

    If Column B percentage is 0 then highlight blue
    If Column B percentage is >15 then highlight yellow
    If Column B percentage is >50 then leave white

  265. Fred says:

    Sorry, should be this..

    What I’m trying to do is basically have 4 rules determine what colour to highlight an entire row based on what percentage it is in a cell. Not sure if they can be combined or not.

    If Column B percentage is 0 then highlight blue
    If Column B percentage is >15 then highlight yellow
    If Column B percentage is >50 then leave white

  266. بدر says:

    thanks for this lesson ... really appreciated

  267. Brian says:

    This post was very helpful, but still need some additional assistance:

    I have a sheet used for inventory for deployed computer hardware. Not only is this data stored in the sheet but parts of it are also stored in our ERP system. And accounting needs to know when a computer is deployed so they can move the cost from IT to the deployed department. So I created columns for ERP and Accounting Notified that when those tasks are completed I simply put a Y in the cell. If there is a Y in either cell, highlight the row orange, and if there is a Y in both cells highlight the row green. This works fine when working with 1 row, but I need to replicate this down the entire sheet. What is the best way to accomplish this?

    • Brian says:

      Got it figured out. Had my conditional formula looking at a specific cell instead of a column.

      • Luci says:

        Hi Brian, I am having a similar problem to the one you described here in that I would have to replicate the formula for each row individually for it to be highlighted if a cell in the row contained "Completed". Can I ask you how you rectified your problem? Thanks

  268. RUPESH SAHARE says:

    in may excel sheet lots of column and row, in last column header is status that contain DIS, RFD, RFI, 2, 3, 4, NP etc. If i put up DIS IN THAT COLUMN TOTAL COLOUR OF RO changes to green. how i do these

  269. Luan says:

    Why i follow you but it highlighted all of selection area, not only rows which contain the cell has specific words i defined?

  270. Amelia Monteiro says:

    What formula can I use to change the font color of a row to red if a cell in that row is a date prior to today? And how would I repeat that for all subsequent rows?


  271. Mohamed Shaban says:

    Hi, I want to ask you question and need your help

    want formula to do the following: if cell G1=text and date in the selected cell J1 is before 60 days then high light the row or selected cell

    and if cell G1=text2 and date in the selected cell J1 is before 90 days then high light the row or selected cell

    and if Cell G1=anyothertext please do nothing

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