Sorting or Filtering by Conditional Format Results

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 17, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


John asked if it is possible to sort or filter based on the conditional formatting in a range of cells. He has a list of values in column A and a list in column B. He created a conditional format that makes any values in column A that are also in column B appear as bold red, and he wanted to sort or filter by that result.

The short answer is that no, you cannot sort by conditional formatting results—at least not without updating to Excel 2007 or a later version of the program. Doing so is much more complex than one might think, as shown at this page on Chip Pearson's Web site:

http://www.cpearson.com/excel/CFColors.htm

The easiest answer is to simply recreate your conditional formula in column C, to the right of your two columns of data. The formula should return True or False, depending on whether the value in column A is found somewhere in column B. With the True/False value in column C, you can filter or sort based on what is there.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2384) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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