Excel formulas for conditional formatting based on another cell value

In this tutorial, we will continue exploring the fascinating world of Excel Conditional Formatting. If you do not feel very comfortable in this area, you may want to look through the previous article first to revive the basics - How to use conditional formatting in Excel 2016 and 2013.

Today are going to dwell on how to use Excel formulas to format individual cells and entire rows based on the values you specify or based on another cell's value. This is often considered advanced aerobatics of Excel conditional formatting and once mastered, it will help you push the formats in your spreadsheets far beyond their common uses.

Excel formulas for conditional formatting based on cell value

Excel's pre-defined conditional formatting rules are mainly purposed to format cells based on their own values or the values you specify. I am talking about Data Bars, Color Scales, Icon Sets and other rules available to you on the Conditional Formatting button click.

If you want to apply conditional formatting based on another cell or format the entire row based on a single cell's value, then you will need to use Excel formulas. So, let's see how you can make a rule using a formula and after that I will provide a number of formula examples for different tasks.

How to create a conditional formatting rule using a formula

As you remember, in all modern versions of Excel 2016, Excel 2013, and Excel 2010, the conditional formatting feature resides on the Home tab > Styles group. In Excel 2003, you can find it under the Format menu.

So, you set up a conditional formatting rule based on a formula in this way:

  1. Select the cells you want to format. You can select one column, several columns or the entire table if you want to apply your conditional format to rows.

    Tip. If you plan to add more data in the future and you want the conditional formatting rule to get applied to new entries automatically, you can either:

    • Convert a range of cells to a table (Insert tab > Table). In this case, the conditional formatting will be automatically applied to all new rows.
    • Select some empty rows below your data, say 100 blank rows.
  2. Click Conditional formatting > New Rule…
    Creating a new conditional formatting rule using a formula
  3. In the New Formatting Rule window, select Use a formula to determine which cells to format.
  4. Enter the formula in the corresponding box.
  5. Click the Format… button to choose your custom format.
    Enter the formula and click the Format… button to choose your custom format.
  6. Switch between the Font, Border and Fill tabs and play with different options such as font style, pattern color and fill effects to set up the format that works best for you. If the standard palette does not suffice, click More colors… and choose any RGB or HSL color to your liking. When done, click the OK button.
    Switch between the Font, Border and Fill tab and set up your custom format.
  7. Make sure the Preview section displays the format you want and if it does, click the OK button to save the rule. If you are not quite happy with the format preview, click the Format… button again and make the edits.
    Make sure the Preview section displays the format you want and save the rule.
  8. Tip. Whenever you need to edit a conditional formatting formula, press F2 and then move to the needed place within the formula using the arrow keys. If you try arrowing without pressing F2, a range will be inserted into the formula rather than just moving the insertion pointer. To add a certain cell reference to the formula, press F2 a second time and then click that cell.

Excel conditional formatting formula examples

Now that you know how to create and apply Excel conditional formatting based on another cell, let's move on and see how to use various Excel formulas in practice:

Tip. For your Excel conditional formatting formula to work correctly, please always follow these simple rules.

Formulas to compare values (numbers and text)

As you know Microsoft Excel provides a handful of ready-to-use rules to format cells with values greater than, less than or equal to the value you specify (Conditional Formatting >Highlight Cells Rules). However, these rules do not work if you want to conditionally format certain columns or entire rows based on a cell's value in another column. In this case, you use analogous formulas:

Condition Formula example
Equal to =$B2=10
Not equal to =$B2<>10
Greater than =$B2>10
Greater than or equal to =$B2>=10
Less than =$B2<10
Less than or equal to =$B2<=10
Between =AND($B2>5, $B2<10)

The screenshot below shows an example of the Greater than formula that highlights product names in column A if the number of items in stock (column C) is greater than 0. Please pay attention that the formula applies to column A only ($A$2:$A$8). But if you select the whole table (in our case, $A$2:$E$8), this will highlight entire rows based on the value in column C.
Excel conditional formatting rule to highlight cells based on another cell's value.

In a similar fashion, you can create a conditional formatting rule to compare values of two cells. For example:

=$A2<$B2 - format cells or rows if a value in column A is less than the corresponding value in column B.

=$A2=$B2 - format cells or rows if values in columns A and B are the same.

=$A2<>$B2 - format cells or rows if a value in column A is not the same as in column B.

As you can see in the screenshot below, these formulas work for text values as well as for numbers.
Excel formulas to compare cells with text values

AND and OR formulas

If you want to format your Excel table based on 2 or more conditions, then use either =AND or =OR function:

Condition Formula Description
If both conditions are met =AND($B2<$C2, $C2<$D2) Formats cells if the value in column B is less than in column C, and if the value in column C is less than in column D.
If one of the conditions is met =OR($B2<$C2, $C2<$D2) Formats cells if the value in column B is less than in column C, or if the value in column C is less than in column D.

In the screenshot below, we use the formula =AND($C2>0, $D2="Worldwide") to change the background color of rows if the number of items in stock (Column C) is greater than 0 and if the product ships worldwide (Column D). Please pay attention that the formula works with text values as well as with numbers.
Excel conditional formatting rule with the =AND formula.

Naturally, you can use two, three or more conditions in your =AND and =OR formulas.

These are the basic conditional formatting formulas you use in Excel. Now let's consider a bit more complex but far more interesting examples.

Conditional formatting for empty and non-empty cells

I think everyone knows how to format empty and not empty cells in Excel - you simply create a new rule of the "Format only cells that contain" type and choose either Blanks or No Blanks.
A rule to format blank and non-blank cells in Excel

But what if you want to format cells in a certain column if a corresponding cell in another column is empty or not empty? In this case, you will need to utilize Excel formulas again:

Formula for blanks: =$B2="" - format selected cells / rows if a corresponding cell in Column B is blank.

Formula for non-blanks: =$B2<>"" - format selected cells / rows if a corresponding cell in Column B is not blank.

Note. The formulas above will work for cells that are "visually" empty or not empty. If you use some Excel function that returns an empty string, e.g. =if(false,"OK", ""), and you don't want such cells to be treated as blanks, use the following formulas instead =isblank(A1)=true or =isblank(A1)=false to format blank and non-blank cells, respectively.

And here is an example of how you can use the above formulas in practice. Suppose, you have a column (B) which is "Date of Sale" and another column (C) "Delivery". These 2 columns have a value only if a sale has been made and the item delivered. So, you want the entire row to turn orange when you've made a sale; and when an item is delivered, a corresponding row should turn green. To achieve this, you need to create 2 conditional formatting rules with the following formulas:

  • Orange rows (a cell in column B is not empty): =$B2<>""
  • Green rows (cells in column B and column C are not empty): =AND($B2<>"", $C2<>"")

One more thing for you to do is to move the second rule to the top and select the Stop if true check box next to this rule:
Conditional formatting rules to highlight rows based on other cells being blank or not blank

In this particular case, the "Stop if true" option is actually superfluous, and the rule will work with or without it. You may want to check this box just as an extra precaution, in case you add a few other rules in the future that may conflict with any of the existing ones.

Excel formulas to work with text values

If you want to apply conditional formatting to selected columns when another cell in the same row contains a certain word, you can use a simple formula like =$D2="Worldwide" (we've used a similar formula in one of the previous examples). However, this formula will work for exact match only.

For partial match, you will need another Excel function: SEARCH() You use it in this way:

=SEARCH("Worldwide", $D2)>0 - format selected cells or rows if a corresponding cell in column D contains the word "Worldwide". This formula will find all such cells, regardless of where the search text is located in a cell, e.g. "Ships Worldwide", "Worldwide, except for…" etc.

=SEARCH("Worldwide", $D2)>1 - shade selected cells or rows if the cell's content starts with the search text.
Excel formulas to conditionally format cells based on text values

Excel formulas to highlight duplicates

If your task is to conditionally format cells with duplicate values, you can go with the pre-defined rule available under Conditional formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Duplicate Values… The following article provides a detailed guidance on how to use this feature: How to automatically highlight duplicates in Excel.

However, in some cases the data looks better if you color selected columns or entire rows when a duplicate values occurs in another column. In this case, you will need to employ an Excel conditional formatting formula again, and this time we will be using the COUNTIF formula. As you know, this Excel function counts the number of cells within a specified range that meet a single criterion.

Highlight duplicates including 1st occurrences

=COUNTIF($A$2:$A$10,$A2)>1 - this formula finds duplicate values in the specified range in Column A (A2:A10 in our case), including first occurrences.

If you choose to apply the rule to the entire table, the whole rows will get formatted, as you see in the screenshot below. I've decided to change a font color in this rule, just for a change : )
Excel formula to highlight duplicates including 1st occurrences

Highlight duplicates without 1st occurrences

To ignore the first occurrence and highlight only subsequent duplicate values, use this formula: =COUNTIF($A$2:$A2,$A2)>1
Excel formula to highlight duplicates without 1st occurrences

Highlight consecutive duplicates in Excel

If you'd rather highlight only duplicates on consecutive rows, you can do this in the following way. This method works for any data types: numbers, text values and dates.

  • Select the column where you want to highlight duplicates, without the column header.
  • Create a conditional formatting rule(s) using these simple formulas:
    Rule 1 (blue): =$A1=$A2 - highlights the 2nd occurrence and all subsequent occurrences, if any.
    Rule 2 (green): =$A2=$A3 - highlights the 1st occurrence.

In the above formulas, A is the column you want to check for dupes, $A1 is the column header, $A2 is the first cell with data.

Important! For the formulas to work correctly, it is essential that Rule 1, which highlights the 2nd and all subsequent duplicate occurrences, should be the first rule in the list, especially if you are using two different colors.
Highlighting consecutive duplicates in Excel

Highlight duplicate rows

If you want apply the conditional format when duplicate values occur in two or more columns, you will need to add an extra column to your table in which you concatenate the values from the key columns using a simple formula like this one =A2&B2. After that you apply a rule using either variation of the COUNTIF formula for duplicates (with or without 1st occurrences). Naturally, you can hide an additional column after creating the rule.
Excel formula to check for duplicates across several columns

Alternatively, you can use the COUNTIFS function that supports multiple criteria in a single formula. In this case, you won't need a helper column.

In this example, to highlight duplicate rows with 1st occurrences, create a rule with the following formula:
=COUNTIFS($A$2:$A$11, $A2, $B$2:$B$11, $B2)>1

To highlight duplicate rows without 1st occurrences, use this formula:
=COUNTIFS($A$2:$A2, $A2, $B$2:$B2, $B2)>1

Compare 2 columns for duplicates

One of the most frequent tasks in Excel is to check 2 columns for duplicate values - i.e. find and highlight values that exist in both columns. To do this, you will need to create an Excel conditional formatting rule for each column with a combination of =ISERROR() and =MATCH() functions:

For Column A: =ISERROR(MATCH(A1,$B$1:$B$10000,0))=FALSE

For Column B: =ISERROR(MATCH(B1,$A$1:$A$10000,0))=FALSE

Note. For such conditional formulas to work correctly, it's very important that you apply the rules to the entire columns, e.g. =$A:$A and =$B:$B.

You can see an example of practical usage in the following screenshot that highlights duplicates in Columns E and F.
Excel conditional formatting formulas to check 2 columns for duplicates

As you can see, Excel conditional formatting formulas cope with dupes pretty well. However, for more complex cases, I would recommend using the Duplicate Remover add-in that is especially designed to find, highlight and remove duplicates in Excel, in one sheet or between two spreadsheets.

Formulas to highlight values above or below average

When you work with several sets of numeric data, the AVERAGE() function may come in handy to format cells whose values are below or above the average in a column.

For example, you can use the formula =$E2<AVERAGE($E$2:$E$8) to conditionally format the rows where the sale numbers are below the average, as shown in the screenshot below. If you are looking for the opposite, i.e. to shade the products performing above the average, replace "<" with ">" in the formula: =$E2>AVERAGE($E$2:$E$8).
A conditional formatting rule to highlight values below average

How to highlight the nearest value in Excel

If I have a set of numbers, is there a way I can use Excel conditional formatting to highlight the number in that set that is closest to zero? This is what one of our blog readers, Jessica, wanted to know. The question is very clear and straightforward, but the answer is a bit too long for the comments sections, that's why you see a solution here :)

Example 1. Find the nearest value, including exact match

In our example, we'll find and highlight the number that is closest to zero. If the data set contains one or more zeroes, all of them will be highlighted. If there is no 0, then the value closest to it, either positive or negative, will be highlighted.

First off, you need to enter the following formula to any empty cell in your worksheet, you will be able to hide that cell later, if needed. The formula finds the number in a given range that is closest to the number you specify and returns the absolute value of that number (absolute value is the number without its sign):

=MIN(ABS(B2:D13-(0)))

In the above formula, B2:D13 is your range of cells and 0 is the number for which you want to find the closest match. For example, if you are looking for a value closest to 5, the formula will change to: =MIN(ABS(B2:D13-(5)))

Note. This is an array formula, so you need to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter instead of a simple Enter stroke to complete it.

And now, you create a conditional formatting rule with the following formula, where B3 is the top-right cell in your range and $C$2 in the cell with the above array formula:

=OR(B3=0-$C$2,B3=0+$C$2)

Please pay attention to the use of absolute references in the address of the cell containing the array formula ($C$2), because this cell is constant. Also, you need to replace 0 with the number for which you want to highlight the closest match. For example, if we wanted to highlight the value nearest to 5, the formula would change to: =OR(B3=5-$C$2,B3=5+$C$2)

Highlight the closest value to a given number, including that number

Example 2. Highlight a value closest to the given value, but NOT exact match

In case you do not want to highlight the exact match, you need a different array formula that will find the closest value but ignore the exact match.

For example, the following array formula finds the value closest to 0 in the specified range, but ignores zeroes, if any:

=MIN(ABS(B3:C13-(0))+(10^0*(B3:C13=0)))

Please remember to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter after you finished typing your array formula.

The conditional formatting formula is the same as in the above example:

=OR(B3=0-$C$2,B3=0+$C$2)

However, since our array formula in cell C2 ignores the exact match, the conditional formatting rule ignores zeroes too and highlights the value 0.003 that is the closest match.
Highlight a value closest to the given value but ignore the exact match

If you want to find the value nearest to some other number in your Excel sheet, just replace "0" with the number you want both in the array and conditional formatting formulas.

I hope the conditional formatting formulas you have learned in this tutorial will help you make sense of whatever project you are working on. If you need more examples, please check out the following articles:

Why isn't my Excel conditional formatting working correctly?

If your conditional formatting rule is not working as expected, though the formula is apparently correct, do not get upset! Most likely it is not because of some weird bug in Excel conditional formatting, rather due to a tiny mistake, not evident at the first sight. Please try out 6 simple troubleshooting steps below and I'm sure you will get your formula to work:

  1. Use absolute & relative cell addresses correctly. It's very difficult to deduce a general rule that will work in 100 per cent of cases. But most often you would use an absolute column (with $) and relative row (without $) in your cell references, e.g. =$A1>1.

    Please keep in mind that the formulas =A1=1, =$A$1=1 and =A$1=1 will produce different results. If you are not sure which one is correct in your case, you can try all : ) For more information, please see Relative and absolute cell references in Excel conditional formatting.

  2. Verify the applied range. Check whether your conditional formatting rule applies to the correct range of cells. A rule of thumb is this - select all the cells / rows you want to format but do not include column headers.
  3. Write the formula for the top-left cell. In conditional formatting rules, cell references are relative to the top-left most cell in the applied range. So, always write your conditional formatting formula for the 1st row with data.

    For example, if your data starts in row 2, you put =A$2=10 to highlight cells with values equal to 10 in all the rows. A common mistake is to always use a reference to the first row (e.g. =A$1=10). Please remember, you reference row 1 in the formula only if your table does not have headers and your data really starts in row 1. The most obvious indication of this case is when the rule is working, but formats values not in the rows it should.

  4. Check the rule you created. Double-check the rule in the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager. Sometimes, for no reason at all, Microsoft Excel distorts the rule you have just created. So, if the rule is not working, go to Conditional Formatting > Manage Rules and check both the formula and the range it applies to. If you have copied the formula from the web or some other external source, make sure the straight quotes are used.
  5. Adjust cell references when copying the rule. If you copy Excel conditional formatting using Format Painter, don't forget to adjust all cell references in the formula.
  6. Split complex formulas into simple elements. If you use a complex Excel formula that includes several different functions, split it into simple elements and verify each function individually.

And finally, if you've tried all the steps but your conditional formatting rule is still not working correctly, drop me a line in comments and we will try to fathom it out together :)

In my next article we are going to look into the capabilities of Excel conditional formatting for dates. See you next week and thanks for reading!

You may also be interested in:

1,032 Responses to "Excel formulas for conditional formatting based on another cell value"

  1. CONFUSE says:

    Hello,

    How to make formula for the following:

    if A1=8 then answer is 2
    if A1=10 then answer is 4
    if A1=12 then answer is 6

    Thanks

  2. Harold says:

    =MIN(IF(A4:A94,B4:B9)) =0
    =MIN(IF(A4:A9>4,B4:B9)) = 30.92

    Can you help me with this simple problem.I can't get the top
    formula to work it returns 0.The bottom formula works
    ok.Can't seem to get the 4 to work together.Can you help
    me with this
    A B
    5 30.92
    4 31.29
    2 31.11
    3 31.17
    6 31.29
    7 31.29

    • Harold says:

      =MIN(IF(A4:A9>4,A4:A94,B4:B9)) = 30.92

      Can you help me with this simple problem.I can't get the top
      formula to work it returns 0.The bottom formula works
      ok.Can't seem to get the >4<6 to work together.Can you help
      me with this, I used ctrl,shift,enter
      A B
      5 30.92
      4 31.29
      2 31.11
      3 31.17
      6 31.29
      7 31.29

      • Harold says:

        =MIN(IF(A4:A9>4,A4:A9<6,B4:B9)) = 0 .This is the formula i cant get to work.

        • Hi, Harold,

          as far I can see, you're trying to use IF function incorrectly. Please take a look at this article of ours to learn more about the syntax of the function.
          You may want to check out this one as well, since it explains how to use IF and MIN together. You fill find a bunch of examples that'll help you to build your own formula properly :)

          • Harold says:

            thanks i'll take a look

          • Harold says:

            I didn't make my example ,clear. I have column "A" with these numbers 5 4 2 3 6 7 - In column "B" I have these numbers 30.92 31.29 31.11 31.17 31.29 31.07 If i select a number in column A or an adjacent number I want the minimum corresponding number in column "B" I need a formula for this. I tried this formula but all i get is zero.=MIN(IF(A4:A9>4,A4:A9<8,B4:B9)). i used control, shift, enter.

            • Harold says:

              I didn't make my example ,clear. I have column "A" with these numbers 5 4 2 3 6 7 - In column "B" I have these numbers 30.92 , 31.29 , 31.11 ,31.17, 31.29, 31.07 If i select a number in column A or an adjacent number I want the minimum corresponding number in column "B" I need a formula for this. I tried this formula but all i get is zero.=MIN(IF(A4:A9>4,A4:A9<8,B4:B9)). i used control, shift, enter.I added some commas between some of the numbers to make it clearer.

              • Thank you very much for the clarification, Harold.

                First of all, please take a look at this part of the article, to learn how to use AND and OR operators in array formulas (* for AND, + for OR)

                Then please try this formula:
                =MIN(IF((A4:A9<8)*(A4:A9>4),B4:B9))

                However, if you're using Excel 2016, the following should do as well:
                =MINIFS(B4:B9,A4:A9,"<8",A4:A9,">4")

  3. Harold says:

    Thanks that formula worked.

  4. Allan says:

    HI
    I want to create a drop down menu that would carry out 5 rows of data.
    ie
    Cash
    100
    200
    300
    400
    500
    How would I achieve this?

    Thanx.

  5. Anthony says:

    Hello I have a spreadsheet with 10,000 rows and 10 columns. Data starts in Row 2, Row 1 are headers. I want all of Row 2 to turn Red if the value in column G, row 2 is =1 then the whole row is Green. I then have to repeat this for the next 9,998 rows. Each row should look to it's own row's value in column G. But when I do conditional formatting in row 2 and drag down it will only look to G2 even if I'm in row 3,200 etc. I've tried $G2, and G2 but it will only look at the G2 no matter what row. In closing row 3543 needs to look at G3543's value to decide format. What am I missing? Thank you!

  6. Anthony says:

    I'm sorry my question is not coming over correct, 2nd try: I have a spreadsheet with 10,000 rows and 10 columns. Data starts in Row 2, Row 1 are headers. I want all of Row 2 to turn Red if the value in column G, row 2 is =1 then the whole row is Green. I then have to repeat this for the next 9,998 rows.

  7. Ameet Kumar says:

    Hello

    Can anyone plz help me for following:

    I have 4 Columns A,B,C,D
    A= Customer Name
    B= Invoice Amount
    C= Due Date
    D= Formula to insert?

    In (Column D) I would like to sum the Invoice Amount(Column B) according to individual Customer(Column A) if due date is today or already past(Column C).

    Example: Today is "29th Aug 2017"

    A(Customer) B(Invoice Amount) C(Due Date) D(Due Amount)
    John $15 29th Aug 17 John= $15+50=65
    Smith $10 25th Aug 17 Smith=$10(Only 1 invoice due)
    Smith $13 10th Sep 17 Obama=No Due
    Obama $18 18th Sep 17
    John $50 28th Aug 17

    Please help.

  8. Joby says:

    Hello,

    I have one issue,from a selected raw how I can highlight the whole column or selected portion if it identify a preset text or number?

  9. Tresha says:

    Hello,

    I have a issue that I need help with.
    Basically I have two sheets, one sheet that lists All Items and another that list the Items Sold from the all items sheet. I've used vlookup to pull all the relevant data from All Items for each item on the Items Sold Sheet. Now I want to highlight the SKU that appears in Items Sold in All Items. At the same time All items Sheet has more than one SKU whereas The Items sold has only one. I have used the below formula with Conditional Formatting on the All Items Sheet to try to accomplish this however it highlights all the Skus with a corresponding value from the SKU's column in Items Sold =COUNTIF(SKU, $B2)=1. I want it to highlight all the items sold but only one of the items. Can this be done?

  10. Rangrao pail says:

    Hi,
    I am using few rules for conditional formatting for .csv file. But after the closing the file all rules get deleted. why this is happing? Can we apply this rules for .csv file.

    Thanks in advance

  11. Dawood says:

    hi
    this Mohammad Dawood . i from Afghanistan . when i change an alphabeth it have to give a color in the Excell . please gave me Information thanks

  12. Natacha says:

    Hi!

    I desesperally need your precious help please: i have a worksheet with about 70 rows and 52 columns. Each row represents a store/client, the column represents the weekly quantity ordered. Most of the time the quantity doesnt change – except for certain periods. I need to see clearly when the number change. i though conditional formatting could help me but i cannot make it works. I need to compare all the cells to their adjacent cells. I tried the formula = B$3C$3, then i tried = $B3$C3, then without dollar signs … nothing worked (it highlight entire columns rather than cells). I need to automatically highlight the cell that is not equal to the cell to its right.
    Many many thanks in advance!

  13. Will says:

    Hello,

    I have a spreadsheet with 4 individual columns, then 15 column pairs. Each pair of columns is a set of data from two different sources, sorted by a common key value. What I need to do is highlight the value in the second column (of the pair) of a row that has inequal values.

    I know I can use, for example, =$E2$F2, applied to column $F:$F to highlight values in F that don't match corresponding value in E. But, how do I do this properly over 14 more pairs? Do I need 15 rules?

    Thanks

  14. Padken says:

    I want to a cell to default to a text / value if another cell contains specified text/ value

    If cell a1 = text then cell b1 = 135,
    or similar scenarios.

    Thanks
    Pad

  15. PHubbell says:

    I have a sheet that has various colors based on the cell character:

    "A" = Color Green font
    "R" = Color Purple font
    "C" = Color Blue font
    "I" = Color Red font
    etc..

    But in the sheet there are some cells that identify as "C/R"

    So the cell would have to be C in Blue / R in Purple.
    Two colors in the same cell separated by the "/"...

  16. Anthony says:

    How would I create a conditional formatting rule based on the below formula. This formula is counting (then averaging in a separate, similar formula) worked hours but excludes login and logout times outside of the given range. I’d like to highlight the cells in another column (H:H) that meet the below criteria so that it’s easy to tell which times were actually used in calculating the final formula. For example. If 40 days were “worked” during the selected period, but only 34 days were used to create the result, I want to highlight those 34 cells.

    =COUNTIFS(F:F,">"&M2,F:F,""&M4,G:G,"<"&N4,A:A,"<6")&" days"
    Where:
    F:F = Log in time
    M2 = min log in time
    N2 = max log in time
    M4= min log out time
    N4 = max log out time
    A:A= day of the week in numeric form
    "&M2,F:F,""&M4,A:A,"<6")
    H:H=sum of hours worked (Logout-Login).

    Thank you in advance,

    Anthony

  17. Jack says:

    What I wanted to achieve is cell formatting depending on the comparison of another two fields that have a date in them (one is a straight date, the other calculated date). If the month in those two dates matches (its equal) then to trigger the formatting (shading) of the third cell.
    A formatting rule of something like
    =MONTH($K21)=MONTH($R12)

    But because this is not a valid formula it doesn't work. I have added this invalid formula here for making my question easier to understand.
    Thank you

    • Hello, Jack,

      actually, your formula for is correct, if it doesn't work, most likely there's something wrong in your table or you apply the conditional formatting incorrectly.
      If you still require our assistance, please send us your workbook with the data and the result you expect to get to support@ablebits.com. Please don't worry if you have confidential information there, we never disclose the data we get from our customers and delete it as soon as the problem is resolved.
      Don't forget to include the link to this comment into your email.

      We'll look into your task and try to help.

  18. Stephen says:

    I have 12 columns with turnover and a column with total turnover, would like to highlight, the total as follows;
    if col.1 and col.2 are empty and col.3 and col.4 have data and rest of columns are empty, fill with colour.
    Thanks

  19. Sandy says:

    1. I have a spreadsheet that data starts at A19:AS100. I want to change font color to "red" for text VA only. In using conditional formatting, Format only cells that contain...I enter VA and have tried entering VA~ also to only change text for VA but it is also changing text color for VAC. Please let me know how I can change text color of VA only not everything that has VA in it or starts with VA.
    2. In the same spreadsheet I am needing to get a total for the following "SUR,HSC,COS,HP" that are listed in cells beginning in column B19:AS100 by name. Names are located beginning A19:A100. There are times that the above list is entered in a cell with other text ex. HSC/CON, DP/SUR and I am needing it to count 1. When it is entered in a cell with two of the criteria listed above ex. SUR/HSC, HP/COS I still need it to count it as 1. I am needing it to count only once regardless if there are two of the criteria to count listed in a cell.

    I would truly appreciate any and all help you can give me on this.
    THANK YOU.

  20. Steve says:

    I have a problem that I need help with. I am trying to use Conditional Formatting to highlight one cell against another cell using greater than, equal to, and less than. The cell I want highlighted gets its value using a formula that gathers data from multiple areas in the spreadsheet. This seems to be the cause of my trouble. The cell I want to compare it to is a static number. For some reason no matter what I do I cannot get the cell containing the formula to highlight correctly.
    Ive tried all variations of =g3h3 but for some reason it will not work. (G3 is the cell that has a value obtained from a formula)
    What I am looking for is when G3 is less than H3 then G3 gets highlighted red. When G3 is greater than H3 then G3 gets highlighted green. When they are equal G3 stays white.
    PLEASE HELP! I've spent 3 hours on this already.

  21. Greg Bates says:

    Hello,

    I have conditional formatting in a cell that turns red when it passes a certain date. In the cell next to it I have Status'. I want to shade the cell with the date in it when the cell next to it says "Completed" so I don't still think it's Red/past due. How would this work? Thank you in advance.

  22. Danial Hamilton says:

    Hi
    Desperately Need your help :)
    I have a dates column AC2:AC37 and i also have a price column M2:M37. Once a date in the AC column has got to today date i want the matching price cell in column M to be highlighted.

    looking forward to your response.

    • Hi Danial,

      Select cells M2:M37 and make a rule based on this formula:
      =AC2=TODAY()

      This will highlight only the prices that have today's date in column AC.

      If you want to highlight the prices matching today's date as well as all previous dates, then use this formula:
      =AC2<=TODAY()

  23. Alle Crampton says:

    I have an excel sheet where the county is listed in one column. I would like it to say "yes" in the column next to the County" column if the county is considered economically distressed. How do you write a formula to say "if this cell says Lake, Lauderdale, Haywood, Hardeman, McNairy, Perry, Wayne, Grundy, VanBuren, Bledsoe, Pickett, Scott, Campbell, Union, Claiborne, Hancock, Cocke, then the adjacent cell should say YES"?

  24. Ruke says:

    Hi!

    Would explain more about the part below that how the function works in order to ignore the 1st occurrences and not highlight it?

    "Highlight duplicates without 1st occurrences
    To ignore the first occurrence and highlight only subsequent duplicate values, use this formula: =COUNTIF($A$2:$A2,$A2)>1"

    Thank you in advance.

  25. Matthew says:

    I'm trying to format a cell on a separate sheet to be highlighted based on if multiple cells have at least a value of 1 in it. For example, I have 4 cells and each cell needs to to have at least a value of 1 for the cell on the other sheet to be highlighted. Can this be done? If so, how? Thanks.

  26. Dan says:

    Is there any way for me to apply conditional formatting to a column that highlights only specific cells in that column that have blanks in the row that the cell is in? Such as highlighting cells only in column B where there are blanks in specific rows in column A.

    • Hi Dan,

      Simply, make a rule for column B with this formula:
      =$A1=""

      Where A1 is the top-most cell of the applied range.

      For example, if you are setting up a rule for B2:B100, then use the formula =$A2=""

  27. Noone says:

    Hello,

    I have this

    =OR(O16=$AB$23;O16=$AC$23;O16=$AD$23;O16=$AE$23;O16=$AF$23;O16=$AG$23)
    apply for O16:AH21

    I want to apply for AB23:AG23 from range O16:AH21... little help.

    • Hello,
      For me to understand the problem better, please send me a small sample workbook with your source data and the result you expect to get to support@ablebits.com. Please don't worry if you have confidential information there, we never disclose the data we get from our customers and delete it as soon as the problem is resolved.
      Please also don't forget to include the link to this comment into your email.
      I'll look into your task and try to help.

  28. Rock says:

    Need to colour based on other cell value like.

    If B2 value has a maximum valie in range of B1:B5 then only A2 cell colour with yellow.

    What formula i use in conditional formatting?

  29. Sofie says:

    Hi,

    I am trying to format cells that are a formula =(A1/B1) with percentage as a result in the C-column.
    I am using Icon sets and have put in;
    red 80-100%
    yellow 50-79%
    red 0-49%
    I have tried both with Number, Percentage, Percentile and Formula.
    It works only when I have one cell that has become 100%, otherwise it will not show the right color. It is like the colours only works in relation to the highest amount put into the column? I do not always have the 100% but I still wish it to work according to the colors.

    Please help, I hope I have made this clear enough.
    Sofie

  30. Ramakrishnan says:

    Hello,

    i m trying t create an auto border with conditional formatting, since my cells are havign formulas, the border are getting displayed, even though the cells are empty.

    i have to make the cells between B21 to h35, whenever my results there in the rows the border should be auto

    the following formula i have tried, with various methods, formats etc...

    =OR($B21"",C21"",D21"",E21"",F21"",

    Please guide me

    thanks in advance

  31. Nicole Lueras says:

    My spreadsheet has a last revision date column with a date and a "Date of next review" column next to it with the formula of =S114+365. I would like to have the "Date of next..." to be highlighted if it is within 30-60 days yellow and less than 30 days in the future as red

    formula =AND($A2-TODAY()>=30, $A2-TODAY()=1, $A2-TODAY()<30)

    isn't cooperating, any help is much appreciated

  32. Sukanya says:

    Thanks so much, This article was very much helpful.

  33. Nur says:

    Hi,
    I would like to know the formula for the following.

    Plan Submission Overdue Actual Submit Date

    9-Feb-18 13 13/2/2018
    8-Feb-18 14 13/2/2018
    5-Feb-18 17 5/2/2018
    5-Feb-18 17 5/2/2018
    1-Mar-18 -7

    Condition as follows :
    >>If Actual submit date is blank and overdue (due previous week) , Plan submission date highlight grey.
    >>If actual Submit date is blank and overdue this week, plan submission date highlight grey.
    >>If actual submit date not blank, no need to highlight.

    Hope you can help with this. thanks!

  34. Craig says:

    Hello

    I am creating a vehicle fleet inspection chart. Vehicles are required to be serviced within every six weeks.
    I have plotted a row of six weekly reference dates for the year based on the last service date from the previous year (E18:N18). Giving me ten dates. The dates in this row indicate that the vehicle must be serviced by each of these dates.
    I have also added a todays date cell (C17)

    I have conditionally formatted these cells to:
    > change to orange if a date is entered that was later than the reference cell.
    > change to green if a date is entered that is less than or equal to the reference cell.
    > no formatting for blank cells and stop if true.

    However, I still require the cells (E21:N21) to change to red if the cell is blank and the reference dates above (E18:N18) are less than todays date. This would show me that no service took place. How can I do this please?

  35. Mat says:

    I am trying to apply conditional formatting based on the following and am getting very confused!

    I want column A to change colour based on the following:

    Col D has a date – YELLOW
    Col E has "Y" – ORANGE
    Col F has a date – PINK
    Col G has a date – DARK BLUE
    Col H has a date – DARK GREEN
    Col I has a value – LIGHT GREEN

    The process should be, as each column has a value or date entered it changes to that corresponding colour, can you help?

  36. Rachel in Missouri says:

    I want to format cells in column J based on two different conditions in applying to the cell in the same row in column I, but the conditions are complicated and I don't know they would look like in a formula. The two conditions are:

    1. If the value in column I is the highest value in column I
    2. If the value in column I is a duplicate value with another value in column I

    ...in other words, if there is "a tie at first place" in column I.

    I know my formula for the conditional formatting has to include =AND($I1,)but I am at a loss as to how to describe my two conditions in the formula.

  37. Rachel in Missouri says:

    Restating my previous question for better clarity -

    I want to format cells in column based on two different conditions applying to the cell in the same row in column A, but the conditions are complicated and I don't know they would look like in a formula. The two conditions are:

    1. If the value in column A is the highest value in column A
    2. If the value in column A is a duplicate value with another value in column A

    ...in other words, if there is "a tie at first place" in column A, I want to make the cells in the NEXT column (column B)for those rows yellow.

    I know my formula for the conditional formatting has to include =AND($A1,)but I am at a loss as to how to describe my two conditions in the formula.

    Thank you for any help you can provide with this knotty problem!

  38. Jennie says:

    Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me with a conditional formatting formula for the following information?

    I want to compare a 'Grade(1-9)' column with a 'Tgt' column and have it showing as red if it the 'Grade(1-9)' column is less than the 'Tgt'.

    Here is an example of the information in both columns:

    Tgt: 8D 7D 6S 7D
    Grade(1-9): 8D 6A 6E 6E

    Therefore, the 6A 6E and 6E in the 'Grade(1-9)' column I would like to highlight as red as it is less.

    Is this possible?

    The current grading from highest to lowest is:
    9A 9S 9D 9E 8A 8S 8D 8E 7A 7S 7D 7E 6A 6S 6D 6E 5A 5S 5D 5E 4A 4S 4D 4E 3A 3S 3D 3E 2A 2S 2D 2E 1A 1S 1D 1E U

    Would the formula change for each different Tgt value or is there an one fits all formula?

    Thanks for any support or even just a no it wouldn't be possible!

  39. pavneet says:

    hi everyone,
    i want to create conditional formatting for the following:
    Column 1 contains due date
    Column 2 contains actual date
    Column 3 would contain conditional formatting if Column 1 > Column 2
    please help
    Thanks in advance

  40. nasir says:

    hi
    i want to create a conditional formatting for following
    Column 1 Contains Date of shipment
    Column 2 Contains contains a (tick) which confirm if the shipment is sailed.

    Column 1 should turn red when Shipment date occurs
    and Column 1 thr should be no formate if Column 2 contains a Tick

    Please help

  41. Peter says:

    I really appreciate you posting this tutorial Svetlana. It has made my work (and others here) a lot easier, keep up the great work! I will consider subscribing to Ablebits, you guys rock!

  42. Todd says:

    I have some formatting set up so, if for example,I have cell B8 highlighted green with the letter "w" in it, any cell I put a W in will turn green as well. Where I am stuck is how do I get an adjacent cell to turn that same color without putting a "w" in it. For example. if I put a "w" in cell D8 and it turns green, how do I get cell D9 to turn green based on D8's value while leaving cell D8 blank?

    Thanks!

    • Doug says:

      Todd:
      I think this will work. Select D9 then Conditional Formatting then New Rule then Use a formula to determine which cells to format then in the formula field enter =D8="W" then select the green formatting you'd like to see.

  43. John says:

    I am looking for help on creating a conditional format where I am color coding a row based on a # the user inputs. These color codes (1 - 6) are used to indicate the order is in a particular status as they determine.

    Some cells on the row will already be highlighted in vbLavender. These are set by a different process to indicate something has changed with this data. I don't want the conditional formatting to cover this.

    So for example cell BB44 has the lavender background.

    Currently this is my VB code for the conditional formatting for color 5:

    Selection.FormatConditions(1).StopIfTrue = False
    Range("A2:BW99999").Select
    Selection.FormatConditions.Add Type:=xlExpression, Formula1:="=$BT2 = 5"
    Selection.FormatConditions(Selection.FormatConditions.Count).SetFirstPriority
    With Selection.FormatConditions(1).Interior
    .ThemeColor = xlThemeColorAccent1
    .TintAndShade = 0.399914548173467
    End With

    So if in cell BT44 I enter a 5 the row is shaded blue.
    This also shades BB44 as blue. If I delete the 5 the lavender color is still there. How would I change the above to not color cells that have an existing color or vbLavender?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated :-)

    • Doug says:

      John:
      VBA help is beyond the scope of this blog, but there are many sites where you can find VBA help. Just Google "VBA Format Conditions" and you will find them.

  44. Salvador says:

    Hello,
    I have two sheets in excel 2007, where I enter via barcode scanner serial numbers of devices, one sheet is for direct sales and the other sheet is for credit sales.
    I need a way to validate for duplicate s/n between two sheets. At this moment I am using the formula =COUNTIF(sheet1!d5:sj30000), like conditional formatting highlighting the duplicated cell. The system find duplicates very good, but becomes very, very slow.
    Now I want to validate at specific time, for example in the night, when the system is not used.
    Can you help me to setup time driven validation formula to trigger at specific time.
    Thank you very much for your time.

  45. David Leigh says:

    Hello

    I am trying to find a formula to find the greater value between two dates. between two columns in the same cell. I know I can use conditional formatting>Highlight Cells rule>Greater Than, however I am trying to do this on a spreadsheet with over 1000 lines. is there any way I can use a formula to help me to this in one go without having to do the above line by line

    thank you

    • Doug says:

      David:
      You don't have to apply conditional formatting line by line. You can select all the cells that hold the calculation that you need formatted and apply the formatting to them all at once. The conditional formatting rule is the formula.
      You can select all the cells in the column by clicking the column heading.

  46. Jessica Zabala says:

    Hello,
    I was hoping you can help create a formula/condition rule. I need an entire column “O” to return a value based off a digit I put in it a cell IN COLULMN O.
    For example:
    If I type 1 in O5 I want O5 to return a value of 1.08
    If I type 60 in O50 I want O50 to return a value of 65

    Similarly in column Q- If I type “Y” in the cell, I want the cell to return a value of 65. For this I set a condition rule =If(Q1:Q25=“Y”,65,0) to be applied over Q1:Q25. Needless to say- it didn’t work!

  47. Jessica Zabala says:

    Hello,
    I was hoping you can help create a formula/condition rule. I need an entire column “O” to return a value based off a digit I put in it a cell IN COLULMN O.
    For example:
    If I type 1 in O5 I want O5 to return a value of 1.08
    If I type 60 in O50 I want O50 to return a value of 65

    Similarly in column Q- If I type “Y” in the cell, I want the cell to return a value of 65. For this I set a condition rule =If(Q1:Q25=“Y”,65,0) to be applied over Q1:Q25. Needless to say- it didn’t work!

    Can you help me please???

  48. Vickar says:

    In the,
    ****Excel formulas to work with text value****
    section,

    I found,
    >0 selects a string containing and beginning with the specified word.

    Whereas, >1 selects the string only containing and not beginning with the specified word.

    Correct me if I misunderstood something.

  49. Mikaela says:

    Hi,

    I am have an excel budget sheet with three important rows at the bottom.

    1. a sum of each column.

    2. a row with the copied value of the sum-value above to hava as a control.

    3. a formula that subtract the above values (I would like this value to be zero as a control).

    To the first and third row I would like to have conditional formatting, coloring them red if they are not the right value (i.e: the 1st row to colour red if its not the same as thr 2nd row, and the 3rd row to colour red if its not zero).

    This contitional formatting only applied correct to three of my columns, and three colours red even if the values are correct.

    Please help!! Going nuts here :) Thanks!

  50. smitha says:

    Hi
    I have been trying to use AND formula in conditional formatting to change color of cell according to values but its not working.
    i need to change the color of the cell depending on the change in the value of the cell (eg. difference between A2 and B2 should be highlighted in yellow if the difference is between 0 to 2.99%. if its more than 3% difference it should be highlighted in red.) can you please help me out in this

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