How to conditionally format dates and time in Excel with formulas and inbuilt rules

If you are a regular visitor of this blog, you've probably noticed a few articles covering different aspects of Excel conditional formatting. And now we will leverage this knowledge and create spreadsheets that differentiate between weekdays and weekends, highlight public holidays and display a coming deadline or delay. In other words, we are going to apply Excel conditional formatting to dates.

If you have some basic knowledge of Excel formulas, then you are most likely familiar with some of date and time functions such as NOW, TODAY, DATE, WEEKDAY, etc. In this tutorial, we are going to take this functionality a step further to conditionally format Excel dates in the way you want.

Excel conditional formatting for dates (built-in rules)

Microsoft Excel provides 10 options to format selected cells based on the current date.

  1. To apply the formatting, you simply go to the Home tab > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cell Rules and select A Date Occurring.
    Excel conditional formatting built-in rules for dates
  2. Select one of the date options from the drop-down list in the left-hand part of the window, ranging from last month to next month.
  3. Finally, choose one of the pre-defined formats or set up your custom format by choosing different options on the Font, Border and Fill tabs. If the Excel standard palette does not suffice, you can always click the More colors… button.
    Choose one of the pre-defined formats or set up your custom format.
  4. Click OK and enjoy the result! : )
    Highlight cells in Excel with dates occurring in the last 7 days.

However, this fast and straightforward way has two significant limitations - 1) it works for selected cells only and 2) the conditional format is always applied based on the current date.

Excel conditional formatting formulas for dates

If you want to highlight cells or entire rows based on a date in another cell, or create rules for greater time intervals (i.e. more than a month from the current date), you will have to create your own conditional formatting rule based on a formula. Below you will find a few examples of my favorite Excel conditional formats for dates.

How to highlight weekends in Excel

Regrettably, Microsoft Excel does not have a built-in calendar similar to Outlook's. Well, let's see how you can create your own automated calendar with quite little effort.

When designing your Excel calendar, you can use the =DATE(year,month,date) function to display the days of the week. Simply enter the year and the month's number somewhere in your spreadsheet and reference those cells in the formula. Of course, you could type the numbers directly in the formula, but this is not a very efficient approach because you would have to adjust the formula for each month.

The screenshot below demonstrates the DATE function in action. I used the formula =DATE($B$2,$B$1,B$4) which is copied across row 5.
Use Excel DATE function to display the days of the week.

Tip. If you want to display only the days of the week like you see in the image above, select the cells with the formula (row 5 in our case), right-click and choose Format Cells…> Number > Custom. From the drop-down list under Type, select either dddd or ddd to show full day names or abbreviated names, respectively.

Your Excel calendar is almost done, and you only need to change the color of weekends. Naturally, you are not going to color the cells manually. We'll have Excel format the weekends automatically by creating a conditional formatting rule based on the WEEKDAY formula.

  1. You start by selecting your Excel calendar where you want to shade the weekends. In our case, it is the range $B$4:$AE$10. Be sure to start the selection with the 1st date column - Colum B in this example.
  2. On the Home tab, click Conditional Formatting menu > New Rule.
  3. Create a new conditional formatting rule based on a formula as explained in the above linked guide.
  4. In the "Format values where this formula is true" box, enter the following WEEKDAY formula that will determine which cells are Saturdays and Sundays: =WEEKDAY(B$5,2)>5
  5. Click the Format… button and set up your custom format by switching between the Font, Border and Fill tabs and playing with different formatting options. When done, click the OK button to preview the rule.
    Excel conditional formatting rule with the WEEKDAY formula to highlight weekends.

Now, let me briefly explain the WEEKDAY(serial_number,[return_type]) formula so that you can quickly adjust it for your own spreadsheets.

  • The serial_number parameter represents the date you are trying to find. You enter a reference to your first cell with a date, B$5 in our case.
  • The [return_type] parameter determines the week type (square brackets imply it is optional). You enter 2 as the return type for a week starting from Monday (1) through Sunday (7). You can find the full list of available return types here.
  • Finally, you write >5 to highlight only Saturdays (6) and Sundays (7).

The screenshot below demonstrates the result in Excel 2013 - the weekends are highlighted in the reddish colour.
The weekends are highlighted in the reddish colour.


  • If you have non-standard weekends in your company, e.g. Fridays and Saturdays, then you would need to tweak the formula so that it starts counting from Sunday (1) and highlight days 6 (Friday) and 7 (Saturday) - WEEKDAY(B$5,1)>5.
  • If you are creating a horizontal (landscape) calendar, use a relative column (without $) and absolute row (with $) in a cell reference because you should lock the reference of the row - in the above example it is row 5, so we entered B$5. But if you are designing a calendar in vertical orientation, you should do the opposite, i.e. use an absolute column and relative row, e.g. $B5 as you can see in the screenshot below:

Excel conditional formatting formula to highlight weekends in a vertical orientation calendar.

How to highlight holidays in Excel

To improve your Excel calendar further, you can shade public holidays as well. To do that, you will need to list the holidays you want to highlight in the same or some other spreadsheet.

For example, I've added the following holidays in column A ($A$14:$A$17). Of course, not all of them are real public holidays, but they will do for demonstration purposes : )
Add list of public holidays to a worksheet.

Again, you open Conditional Formatting > New Rule. In the case of holidays, you are going to use either MATCH or COUNTIF function:

  • =COUNTIF($A$14:$A$17,B$5)>0
  • =MATCH(B$5,$A$14:$A$17,0)

Note. If you have chosen a different color for holidays, you need to move the public holiday rule to the top of the rules list via Conditional Formatting > Manage Rules…

The following image shows the result in Excel 2013:
Conditional formatting formula to highlight holidays in Excel.

Conditionally format a cell when a value is changed to a date

It's not a big problem to conditionally format a cell when a date is added to that cell or any other cell in the same row as long as no other value type is allowed. In this case, you could simply use a formula to highlight non-blanks, as described in Excel conditional formulas for blanks and non-blanks. But what if those cells already have some values, e.g. text, and you want to change the background color when text is changed to a date?

The task may sound a bit intricate, but the solution is very simple.

  1. First off, you need to determine the format code of your date. Here are just a few examples:
    • D1: dd-mmm-yy or d-mmm-yy
    • D2: dd-mmm or d-mmm
    • D3: mmm-yy
    • D4: mm/dd/yy or m/d/yy or m/d/yy h:mm

    You can find the complete list of date codes in this article.

  2. Select a column where you want to change the color of cells or the entire table in case you want to highlight rows.
  3. And now create a conditional formatting rule using a formula similar to this one: =CELL("format",$A2)="D1". In the formula, A is the column with dates and D1 is the date format.

    If your table contains dates in 2 or more formats, then use the OR operator, e.g. =OR(cell("format", $A2)="D1", cell("format",$A2)="D2", cell("format", $A2)="D3")

    The screenshot below demonstrates the result of such conditional formatting rule for dates.
    A row is highlighted when text in column C is changed to a date.

How to highlight rows based on a certain date in a certain column

Suppose, you have a large Excel spreadsheet that contains two date columns (B and C). You want to highlight every row that has a certain date, say 13-May-14, in column C.

To apply Excel conditional formatting to a certain date, you need to find its numerical value first. As you probably know, Microsoft Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers, starting from January 1, 1900. So, 1-Jan-1900 is stored as 1, 2-Jan-1900 is stored as 2… and 13-May-14 as 41772.

To find the date's number, right-click the cell, select Format Cells > Number and choose the General format. Write down the number you see and click Cancel because you do not really want to change the date's format.
Find the numerical value of a date.

That was actually the major part of the work and now you only need to create a conditional formatting rule for the entire table with this very simple formula: =$C2=41772. The formula implies that your table has headers and row 2 is your first row with data.

An alternative way is to use the DATEVALUE formula that converts the date to the number format is which it is stored, e.g. =$C2=DATEVALUE("5/13/2014")

Whichever formula you use, it will have the same effect:
Highlight every row based on a certain date in a certain column.

Conditionally format dates in Excel based on the current date

As you probably know Microsoft Excel provides the TODAY() functions for various calculations based on the current date. Here are just a few examples of how you can use it to conditionally format dates in Excel.

Example 1. Highlight dates equal to, greater than or less than today

To conditionally format cells or entire rows based on today's date, you use the TODAY function as follows:

Equal to today: =$B2=TODAY()

Greater than today: =$B2>TODAY()

Less than today: =$B2<TODAY()

The screenshot below demonstrates the above rules in action. Please note, at the moment of writing TODAY was 12-Jun-2014.
Excel formulas to highlight dates equal to, greater than or less than the current date.

Example 2. Conditionally format dates in Excel based on several conditions

In a similar fashion, you can use the TODAY function in combination with other Excel functions to handle more complex scenarios. For example, you may want your Excel conditional formatting date formula to color the Invoice column when the Delivery Date is equal to or greater than today BUT you want the formatting to disappear when you enter the invoice number.

For this task, you would need an additional column with the following formula (where E is your Delivery column and F the Invoice column):

=IF(E2>=TODAY(),IF(F2="", 1, 0), 0)

If the delivery date is greater than or equal to the current date and there is no number in the Invoice column, the formula returns 1, otherwise it's 0.

After that you create a simple conditional formatting rule for the Invoice column with the formula =$G2=1 where G is your additional column. Of course, you will be able to hide this column later.
Excel conditional formatting rule to highlight blank cells in the Invoice column when the Delivery Date is equal to or greater than today.

Example 3. Highlight upcoming dates and delays

Suppose you have a project schedule in Excel that lists tasks, their start dates and durations. What you want is to have the end date for each task calculated automatically. An additional challenge is that the formula should also consider the weekends. For example, if the starting date is 13-Jun-2014 and the number of days of work (Duration) is 2, the ending date should come as 17-Jun-2014, because 14-Jun and 15-Jun are Saturday and Sunday.

To do this, we will use the WORKDAY.INTL(start_date,days,[weekend],[holidays]) function, more precisely =WORKDAY.INTL(B2,C2,1).
The WORKDAY.INTL formula calculates the End Date for each task taking into account the weekends.

In the formula, we enter 1 as the 3rd parameter since it indicates Saturday and Sunday as holidays. You can use another value if your weekends are different, say, Fri and Sat. The full list of the weekend values is available here. Optionally, you can also use the 4th parameter [holidays], which is a set of dates (range of cells) that should be excluded from the working day calendar.

And finally, you may want to highlight rows depending on how far away the deadline is. For example, the conditional formatting rules based on the following 2 formulas highlight upcoming and recent end dates, respectively:

  • =AND($D2-TODAY()>=0,$D2-TODAY()<=7) - highlight all rows where the End Date (column D) is within the next 7 days. This formula is really handy when it comes to tracking upcoming expiration dates or payments.
  • =AND(TODAY()-$D2>=0,TODAY()-$D2<=7) - highlight all rows where the End Date (column D) is within the last 7 days. You can use this formula to track the latest overdue payments and other delays.

Excel conditional formatting rules to highlight upcoming dates and delays

Here are a few more formula examples that can be applied to the table above:

=$D2<TODAY() - highlights all passed dates (i.e. dates less than the current date). Can be used to format expired subscriptions, overdue payments etc.

=$D2>TODAY() - highlights all future dates (i.e. dates greater than the current date). You can use it to highlight upcoming events.

Of course, there can be infinite variations of the above formulas, depending on your particular task. For instance:

=$D2-TODAY()>=6 - highlights dates that occur in 6 or more days.

=$D2=TODAY()-14 - highlights dates occurring exactly 2 weeks ago.

How to highlight dates within a date range

If you have a long list of dates in your worksheet, you may also want to highlight the cells or rows that fall within a certain date range, i.e. highlight all dates that are between two given dates.

You can fulfil this task using the TODAY() function again. You will just have to construct a little bit more elaborate formulas as demonstrated in the examples below.

Formulas to highlight past dates

  • More than 30 days ago: =TODAY()-$A2>30
  • From 30 to 15 days ago, inclusive: =AND(TODAY()-$A2>=15, TODAY()-$A2<=30)
  • Less than 15 days ago: =AND(TODAY()-$A2>=1, TODAY()-$A2<15)

The current date and any future dates are not colored.
Formulas to highlight past dates in a certain date range

Formulas to highlight future dates

  • Will occur in more than 30 days from now: =$A2-TODAY()>30
  • In 30 to 15 days, inclusive: =AND($A2-TODAY()>=15, $A2-TODAY()<=30)
  • In less than 15 days: =AND($A2-TODAY()>=1, $A2-TODAY()<15)

The current date and any past dates are not colored.
Formulas to highlight future dates in a given date range

How to shade gaps and time intervals

In this last example, we are going to utilize yet another Excel date function - DATEDIF(start_date, end_date, interval). This function calculates the difference between two dates based on the specified interval. It differs from all other functions we've discussed in this tutorial in the way that it lets you ignore months or years and calculate the difference only between days or months, whichever you choose.

Don't see how this could work for you? Think about it in another way… Suppose you have a list of birthdays of your family members and friends. Would you like to know how many days there are until their next birthday? Moreover, how many days exactly are left until your wedding anniversary and other events you wouldn't want to miss? Easily!

The formula you need is this (where A is your Date column):

=DATEDIF(TODAY(), DATE((YEAR(TODAY())+1), MONTH($A2), DAY($A2)), "yd")

The "yd" interval type at the end of the formula is used to ignore years and calculate the difference between the days only. For the full list of available interval types, look here.

Tip. If you happen to forget or misplace that complex formula, you can use this simple one instead: =365-DATEDIF($A2,TODAY(),"yd"). It produces exactly the same results, just remember to replace 365 with 366 in leap years : )

And now let's create an Excel conditional formatting rule to shade different gaps in different colors. In this case, it makes more sense to utilize Excel Color Scales rather than create a separate rule for each period.

The screenshot below demonstrates the result in Excel - a gradient 3-color scale with tints from green to red through yellow.
The 3-color scale shades cells in different colors based on how many days are left until the event.

"Days Until Next Birthday" Excel Web App

We have created this Excel Web App to show you the above formula in action. Just enter your events in 1st column and change the corresponding dates in the 2nd column to experiment with the result.

If you are curious to know how to create such interactive Excel spreadsheets, check out this article on how to make web-based Excel spreadsheets.

Hopefully, at least one of the Excel conditional formats for dates discussed in this article has proven useful to you. If you are looking for a solution to some different task, you are most welcome to post a comment. Thank you for reading!


  1. Hi, I am trying to come up with conditional formatting rule that applies to a cell with a completion date that is past the due date listed in another cell. For example, say the "June By Date" is 6/1/23 in cell O3 and "June Completion Date" is listed as 6/9/23, that cell would then be formatted. I am running into the issue of applying this to all rows in that table.

  2. Hi!
    I have put on an alarm sound VBA code and saved it on the spreadsheet that I want to use it for.
    The spreadsheet is so that the alarm sound must go off every second day from the dates that I put in. The problem is I don't know what formula to use and how to set it to go off every second day.

  3. I would like to highlight the date in C1 if the date in A1 is more than one calendar month. Not necessarily 30 days. For example, A1 is 01/19/23 and C1 is 02/23/23. Over 30 days are between these dates, but a calendar month has not been skipped, so I do not want C1 highlighted.

      • I apologize, I didn't explain what I wanted well. I would like C1 highlighted if a month was skipped. So A1 is a date in January, if C1 is a date in March, skipping February, I would like it highlighted. I tried the YM code, but, alas, it works on days, even though Excel Help said it ignored days and only looked at the month.

  4. Hi,

    I have a calendar in excel, I need to highlight two cells ( cell 1 = today's date and cell 2 = the adjacent cell below cell 1) been looking how to do this, but cant find an answer. Hope you can help me

    Highlighting today's date is quite easy, what I find difficult is highlighting the cell 2

    Thank you in advance

  5. Hi

    I'm trying to change the cell colour to reflect length of service e.g under 2 years (red), over 2 years (orange) and over 5 years (green).

    I am using the following formula to show the service length - =DATEDIF(E2,G2,"y")&" Years, "&DATEDIF(E2,G2,"ym")&" Months" - which shows as 4 years, 2 months. Is it possible to do cell colouring when it has both words and numbers?


  6. Hi, i am creating a roster, what conditional formatting formula could i use to identify where someone has worked more than 11 shifts in a fortnight and identify the last night shift worked. i have plotted the roster using shift codes. Thanks

  7. Hi, I'm working on a project and would like any task end dates (in column L) to highlight red once they're overdue but only if the task status (in column I) does not include the text "Completed". Could you help please?

    • Hi! If I understand your task correctly, the following formula should work for you:

      =(ISNUMBER(SEARCH("Completed",I1)))*(L1How to find substring in Excel

  8. I need to highlight a cell if it is 2+ days past another certain cell. I have a list of dates in different columns and if the date in one column is 2 or greater than the cell to the left of it I want it to highlight. Is this possible?

  9. Hey

    I want to highlight "tomorrow" in excel. But: when tomorrow is a saturday or a sunday, i want it to highlight the first monday instead
    (= i always want to highlight the next working day)

    If today is friday 11/08/2023, then i want monday 14/08/2023 to be highlighted
    if today is monday 14/08/2023, then i want tuesday 15/08/2023 to be highlighted

    can you help me out please?

  10. Hi, i am trying to colour a cell when a date & time appear dd/mm/yyyy hh/mm is there a formular for this

  11. What formula would I use if I want to highlight dates from today that are more than 90 days in the future as green, from today to 90 days in the future as yellow, and dates in the past from today as red?

  12. I'm trying to find a formula where the cell turns in different colors:
    Each cell has a date (example: 28/04/2016 - typed in cell D3), if 4 years and 6 months passed, it needs to turn orange. But is 5 years passed it needs to turn red.

    Can someone help me with the right formula?

      • If i try this, i always get this:
        "There's a problem with this formula. Not trying to type a formula? When the first character is an equal ('=') or minus ('-') sign, Excel thinks it's a formula:
        * you type: = 1+1, cell shows: 2
        To get around this, type an apostrophe (') first:
        * you type: '=1+, cell shows: =1+1

  13. Hello!

    I am trying to have a cell turn red if the date is less than or equal to todays date, but I don't know the right formula.
    I tried using the conditional formatting rule: Cell Value <= TODAY()
    But, when I delete a date from that cell, it still shows a red fill color and I don't know how to remove it. Is there any way to remove the color if the cell is blank or do I need a different formula?

    Thank you so much for your time!

  14. Hi. I have a spreadsheet which i would like to format to highlight when a specific date date is reached into the future. So for example, i want it to automatically highlight when 20 March is reached every year. How do i do that?

  15. Hello, I have a spreadsheet that A treatment plan date is entered in Column E. Which auto fills the date of 4 months ahead into column N and then 6 months ahead into column O. Columns N and O have autofilled date from the EDATE formula based on the treatment plan date in column A, I need to highlight cells in columns N and O yellow that are due within 2 weeks of the date autofilled and highlight cells red that are past due to the date autofilled. I have reviewed the highlight upcoming dates and delays and the cells aren't becoming formatted. Please help.

    • Hi! Unfortunately, I don't understand what date you want to compare the dates in columns N and O to. If the examples in the article above didn't help you, please explain in more detail. What dates and what formulas have you tried to use?

      • So sorry. I have a spreadsheet that shows an initial date that can happen at any time that is filled in when an assignment is completed. This is in column E. This spreadsheet continues on to reflect the due dates of 4 months after that date and 6 months after that date to show the quarterly and semi-annual due date for that assignment. In columns N and O respectively. I am struggling To get conditional formatting to show yellow two weeks before the due date and turn red when the item is past due. I have been able to get the cells in columns N and O to turn red if they are past due by using =$N3=1,$N3-TODAY()<15)" to have the cells turn yellow 15 days before the due date and that is not turning cells due within 14 days yellow. Also is there a way to set the formatting to clear when the date is met successfully?

        • The columns that reflect the 4month and 6months date have an EDATE formula in to autofill the 4 month and 6 month value.

          • When I use =$N3-TODAY()<15 formula it is highlighting nearly all dates. In some instances, cells that have the same dates one is highlighted while the other isn't. Could this be because the date is an EMONTH formula and not put in directly?

              • Is that the reason why I can't get the cells to highlight properly because there is an edate in the cell?

  16. I need to highlight cells based on its value (date), to identify whether thats expired or not ;

    where expiry criteria defined in a single master cell of that column (i.e. 2 years, 1 year etc)

    For example
    H column is representing a course

    H100 = "1-JAN-2022"
    Expiry of H column items (course validity) is in cell H3 = "2 Years"

    There will be many rows of H, as well as other columns to mark validity in the same format

    Can anyone guide?

  17. Hi

    Im looking for a function to do the next.
    every 15th of the month I want a specific cell to decrease by 1 permanently.
    all the things I tried turned back to the origianl once the date turned to the 16th.

    please help

    tnx :)

  18. I am looking to make a worksheet that will highlight a date if it is earlier than a specific date of the month. For instance, we have a check to do every month from the 16th of every month. I would like to be able for a cell to turn red if the date in it is earlier than the 16th of that month

    • Hi! Create the target dates with the DATE function. Get the current month and year using the MONTH and YEAR functions.
      If I understand your task correctly, try the following formula:


  19. Hi, Alexander, Who how link the second excel data to the first excel, when I update the new date? immediately, just change only a week.

  20. Great information - but stops short of helping the beginner with coloring cells with date/time and leaving cells with text (PENDING) white. Would be really helpful if you explored the basic techniques for beginner to be able to master conditional formatting a cell to a color if there is a date time (period) vs. having the word PENDING. This complex issue is not covered, and when records are processed based on random date/times throughout the day you need to be able to highlight them. Hopefully, someone will report how to do that so I can apply it at my job. There is never training provided and receptionists are being tasked with more complex tasks daily. Would love support on this stuff. Thanks,

  21. Hello,

    Thank you for this article - excellent information. I work in a home health agency. We need to keep track of patient in-home assessments which must be conducted every 180 days (6 months) per the dept. of health. We want to use Excel to alert us about where we are during those 180 days for all patients. For example, from the initial assessment (day 1) to day 90, the patient name should be GREEN. From day 91 to day 120, the patient name should be YELLOW. From day 121 to day 150, the patient name should be 40% ORANGE. From day 151 to day 179, the patient name should be 60% ORANGE. And, from day 180 and beyond, the patient name should be RED. Is there a way to use conditional formatting to accomplish this? Thank you!

    • Hello! To create conditional formatting by dates, use the recommendations from the article above. Create a separate rule for each color.
      Pay attention to the following paragraph of the article above: How to highlight dates within a date range.

  22. Hi. I am nouveau to excel. I am working on tracker and following column are in the sheet (1) Timeline, i.e., no. of days in which we get approval, (2) Initial submission date, (3) Due date [=(1) + (2)] (4) Query received (5) Query response (6) Approval. I want formula for following

    (A) The value should reflect 0 (Zero) in due date cell when due date values come 00/01/1900 (as there is no submission) and no highlight
    (B) Highlight the due date cell RED when due date exceed the timeline [=Due date<TODAY()] and GREEN When the due date is within timeline
    (C) Highlight the due date cell YELLOW when there is date value in query received column
    (D) Highlight the due date cell when there is date value in Query response column and follow condition as per B above.
    (C) No highlight when there is date value in approval column.

  23. Hey everyone, if I have multiple sheets with contract names in column A and expiration dates of certain criteria in columns D and G, is there a way to fun a formula where when one of the limits is within 6 months or 3 months, that it is highlighted? Or is there an option where if I create a summary page, that when a date is within 6 months, on the summary page, it will display contract names and expiration date?

  24. Probably a long shot but I'll ask! I'm using a =NOW() function to track the time elapsed, basically like a stop watch/stop the clock tracked in a spreadsheet of values. Currently formatted with =TEXT(CurrentTime-C10,"hh:mm:ss"). Two part question: The biggest question though is, is there a way to highlight the cell once 10 minutes, 20 minutes, or 30 minutes have elapsed without using a macro? I've tried using the time formatting and the lowest you can get is by day, not by minutes.

    part two: This sheet is used by both US/UK employees, so one side sees it displayed in each time zone, but when dates are entered, it only tracks in the UK time frame. (Example: Time input in UK BST as: 10:13, elapsed time should be 11:08 (which is what UK employees see), but US employees see 19:11:08, based on the time zone and the =NOW. Is there anyway to format that better?

  25. I have a worksheet that tracks client due dates in multiple columns, with some due in seven days, some in 14, some in 30, and some in 90 (all the same range inside the column). I plan to enter the date that the variable is completed in the cell, and want the cell to highlight if it is so many days past the cell value. How do I do that?

  26. I am tracking attendance and I want to show a two year rolling date range. Meaning after two years the absence is no longer in their file. Once the absence is "out of range" I want it to no longer be on the spreadsheet. Additionally I want the recent 12 months one color and the subsequent 12 months a different. How do I format that?

    • Hi! To highlight dates greater than 12 months from the current date, you can use the conditional formatting formula with the DATEDIF function
      For example,


      You cannot use Excel formulas to delete any data from the worksheet. You can do it manually or with a VBA macro. You can use an Excel filter to hide unnecessary data.

  27. Trying to format a spreadsheet - work in doctors surgery.
    Spreadsheet contains name, nhs no, date of death, date of birth, age and 6 other columns - I want to highlight a row based on the date of death being in the past month but whatever I use either highlights only the date of death cell or the whole spreadsheet.
    Help please

    • Hi! Highlight rows starting from row 2 and below as needed. Create a conditional formatting rule for the selected rows using a formula:


      You can learn more about change the row color based on cell value in Excel in this article on our blog.

  28. I've tried several things above, but conditional formatting just isn't working like I want it to. I have a spreadsheet with Month Names across the top. I randomly put numbers (not dates) in the rows below. What I want to accomplish is highlighting the current month column all the way down. So since TODAY is in May, I want to highlight the May column in, say, green and leave all the rest of the columns white. Once it turns to June, I want June highlighted all the way down. Is there a way to do this with conditional formatting? I've tried using the something like =Text(Today(), "mmmm") = B$1 (and vice-versa =B$1 = Text(Today(), "mmmm"). No formatting happens. Any ideas for me??

    April May June July
    $28.89 $20.15

    $30.85 $30.85

  29. Hi Alexander, I am trying to do a conditional color formatting for Scheduled End Date vs Actual End Date so if the Actual End Date is after the Scheduled by so many days it will be a variant of red. If the Actual End Date = or G8,-DATEDIF(G8,E8,"d"),DATEDIF(E8,G8,"d")) E8 is Scheduled End Date and G8 is Actual End Date.

    Thank you so much.

    • Hi! If I understand your task correctly, pay attention to the following paragraph of the article above: How to highlight dates within a date range.
      For example, =(G8-E8)>30

  30. Hi. Thank you for your assistance.
    =AND(TODAY()-$Z2>=305, TODAY()-$Z2<=365) returns an error. Please assist.

  31. Dear Sir,
    I have 2 issues.
    1. Have XLs in which 3 colums idicate date of completion, how I can highlight earloest date in each raw?
    2. In next column next action date written.
    I want to compare it with above earliest date and if it is late , how can I highlight that cells?

  32. Hi Alex,

    It would so helpful if you could help me in sorting out the steps

    A2= "=Today()" for ex. we can take it has 4/29/2023
    B2(Start date) = 4/25/2023
    C2(End Date) = 4/29/2023

    D2 = I need to validate the formula which is
    IF(A2= B2, it should "Delivering",
    IF(A2> C2,"Completed")))),

    Here am not getting the status as completed when date(C2) is actually completed

  33. You all are so helpful! I am trying to create a spreadsheet to show past dates (completed) in green and today and future dates (not completed) in yellow. I currently have the following formatting: cell contains a blank value -no fill, =$G2>TODAY() -yellow fill, =$G2<TODAY() -green fill. The rules are in this order.

    The blanks are correct, however anything I type a date in, regardless past or future, it fills in green. Any suggestions?

    • Hi! Unfortunately, I cannot check how you created the conditional formatting in your workbook. Note that the conditional formatting formula must match the conditional formatting range. In your case, the conditional formatting range should start on row 2. All the necessary information is in the article above.

  34. I would like to create a yearly calendar (2023) month by month. I have completed this on my own manually, however, it took a long time. I am wondering if you have a template?

  35. Hi,

    I have a spreadsheet which records 2 different types of inspection date. Inspection 1 and Inspection 2, i would like a formula to automatically create the next inspection date which will be in 3 years time, on a week day, based on whichever inspection date was the latest,

    Can this be done?


  36. I am hoping you can help with a formula.

    In column A, I have a date in which an account entered a work queue. In column L I have different statuses in a list. I want the status to automatically change to "Proceed with Write-off - Status Unchanged" if the account has remained unworked for 14 days.

    Also, the statuses are pulling from another spreadsheet in this workbook "Column Options" and are located in Q2-Q7.

  37. Hi there,

    Hope you can help.

    I have a dynamic calendar excel template with drop down list of months. Need to highlight certain days of a particular months, but it keeps highlighting those same days across all months. How do I break the link so that it highlights what I choose in a month, not same day in every month?

    Hope I am making sense.


  38. I have a spread sheet that already has the autodate generated in cells A2 and A27. Now I'd like to have the deposit numbers in cell B1 and B26 increase by 2 digits automatically when the document opens just like the autdate. For example, let's say my deposit numbers for today April 13, 2023 are K105 (B1) and K108 (B26). I'd like to open the spreadsheet tomorrow, have the current date along with cells B1 and B26 showing K107 and K110, the day's deposit numbers.

    Kindest Regards

  39. Hi.

    Please could you help with the following conditional formatting formula?

    I have 2 columns.

    Column D is headed 'Response Required By'. This column contains a date that I need a response from a supplier by.
    Column E is headed ' Response Received'. This column remains blank until the supplier's response is received and the date is entered manually.

    The conditional formatting I am trying to apply is as follows:

    If the supplier has not responded within 5 days of the 'Response Required By' date (column D), then I want to highlight the blank cell in column E as AMBER
    If the supplier has not responded within 1 day of the 'Response Required By' date (column D), then I want to highlight the blank cell in column E as RED
    When the supplier has responded and their response date is entered manually into column E, I want the cell in Column E to be highlighted in GREEN

    Many thanks

    • Have you tried the ways described in this blog post? If they weren't effective, please provide me with more details about your task.

  40. So I work at a prison and have a worksheet that tracks dates for inmate reviews based on the date they entered our unit. They need to be reviewed once every 7 days for the first 2 months, then once per month after that (this part I have covered). We have our meetings to review on Tuesdays and Fridays. So the review periods go from Friday-Monday and from Tuesday-Thursday. So for this week the dates for review periods would be 04/07/23-04/10/23 and 04/11/23-04/13/23. Do you know how to have dates that fall into these review periods automatically highlighted as we are in them and when they will be the next review period. Thanks! :)

    • Hi!
      I'm not quite sure what dates you want to be highlighted. The dates you specified are the entire week of 04/07/23 to 04/13/23. Please describe your problem in more detail.

      • OK. The dates I provided are just an example using the current week. I need dates that fall on Fridays-Mondays and Tuesdays-Thursdays separately highlighted, but also only highlighted when we are within that timeframe and when they will be the next period. So for example, today is Wednesday the 12th, so we would currently be in the Tuesday-Thursday period. So I would want any dates appearing in that period to be highlighted (in say green). And the next period would be Friday-Monday starting on the 14th. I would want dates that fall into that next period highlighted differently (say orange) to let me easily see that they are upcoming. Once we reach Friday, then the Friday-Monday period would then be green and the upcoming Tuesday-Thursday period would be orange. And so on.

        • Hi!
          A conditional formatting formula to highlight the days Tuesday through Thursday:


          You can learn more about WEEKDAY function in Excel in this article on our blog.

  41. Hello,

    I am trying to format a cell once a date has expired. Specifically, on 10/1/2023 I need every date that was entered in a column, that has passed to change format. However, I am trying to avoid just writing a new conditional format rule on 10/1/2023. Instead I would prefer the formatting indicate what has passed. Also I would like to keep it moving forward for the end of each fiscal year.

    • Hi!
      You can see all the possible ways for conditional date formatting above. You can use a reference to the cell with the desired date in the formula so that you don't have to change the formula manually.

  42. Hi,
    I am trying to set up a sheet with conditional formatting. Ex. B4 has a target date with B3 being -7 days and B5 being +7 days. I want B6 to turn green if it is between those two dates. I know how to do this for one cell, but I need to do it for C-P as well. Is there a way to do this?

  43. Hi,
    I hope you can assist. I am trying to create a rule that will highlight and strike through the cells value if another cells date displays a date of the 22nd day or before.
    For example
    if C1 is filled with 9/23/2023 the target cell will be unchanged
    if C1 is filled with 9/21/2023 the target cell will turn red with text strike through.

    The date in C1 will constantly be changing ranging from 1930's to current.

  44. Hi! Hoping you can help. I am trying to create a formula rule to highlight a cell range based on one cell but for multiple options.

    E.g. Cell C4 has a date of 21/3/2021, and D4 has a date of 19/02/1998; I am trying to create a rule to highlight date ranges in different colours. 5 years.

    Then I want to use that to highlight C4,5,6,7 etc., based on that range.

    I have tried using an if and statement and a datedif statement, but it doesn't seem to want to work. Is this at all possible?


    • Sorry, date ranges would be Under 1 year, 1-2 years, 2-5 years and over 5 years.

      • Thanks! I have tried to make the next selection of between 1 & 2 years, and 2 and 5 years, The formula works (no error) but it is not highlighting...


        Have I used the right formula?

        Thanks again

        • SORTED!


          I changed it to months :)


  45. Hello,

    I have a set of dates for various personnel training attended, that expire within 1 year, 2 years, 3 years and so on. I would like to use conditional formatting to turn the cells yellow when they are 90 days out from expiry and red when the dates have expired. I can't seem to find the right combinations of rules to make this work, as most are based on the current date in excel rather than the given date in the cell. Please help!

    Thank you.

    • Hi! Replace the TODAY() function in the conditional formatting date formulas you see above in the article with a cell reference. Instead of =TODAY()-$A2>30 write =$A1-$A2>30

  46. Hi,
    I’m trying to get the following formulas to work on the same table but they won’t work together, it’s like they cancel each other out
    I also want to be able to get it to work for multiple end dates but it won’t allow the formula to work on more than one row.
    Please help

      • Ok so how do I get it to work to show both when it’s exceeded deadline and when it’s close to deadline?
        And is it possible to have it work for multiple deadline dates

        • You want me to use your wrong formula to guess what you want to do. Pay attention to the following paragraph of the article above: How to highlight dates within a date range.

  47. Now can I formulate a date that actually says the month. "January 2" instead of 1/2 or 2 Jan or the others?

  48. Hi, I'm trying to set up an employee directory that has the weekdays and times they're available. I currently have two cells that have the formula =NOW() (with one having the custom format to display "Fri" and the other to display hh:mm:ss am/pm). I would like to change the cells change colour to red if the day is Friday and they are not working (ie if they only work Mon-Thu etc). How would I go about conditionally formatting this?

  49. Hello -

    I'm trying to set up an inspection record template with separate Receipt Date and Expiration Date cells, where the Expiration Date cell will be automatically highlighted if the value entered there is <12 months from the Receipt Date. The Receipt Date will not always be the same date that the record is getting filled out, which is where I'm running into trouble. Please help?

    • Hi I have the following:
      Sheet 1
      Column A: list of employee names
      Column B: employee title
      Column C: hire date
      Column D: # of years with company

      I am trying to sort this list on a new sheet so that all employees and their info from each column on sheet 1 is populated according to their anniversary date for 2023, but also separated by month. So if the employee anniversary date is in January, the employee and their info would be pulled from sheet 1 and listed under January 2023...and do this for each month. Is there a way to do this?

  50. What formula can I use if I want a row to fill with color after the date is typed into a cell? Example: 3/15/2023 is typed into E3, how can I have A3:E3 turn green?

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