Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Conditionally Formatting an Entire Row.

Conditionally Formatting an Entire Row

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 23, 2015)

4

Graham described a problem he was having with a worksheet. He wanted to use conditional formatting to highlight all the cells in a row, if the value in column E was greater than a particular value. He was having problems coming up with the proper way to do that.

Suppose for a moment that your data is in cells A3:H50. You can apply the proper conditional formatting by following these steps:

  1. Select cell A3.
  2. With A3 still selected, scroll the worksheet so you can see cell H50.
  3. Hold down the Shift key as you click on H50. The entire range A3:H50 should be selected, and A3 should still be the active cell.
  4. Choose Conditional Format from the Format menu. Excel displays the Conditional Formatting dialog box.
  5. In the left-most drop-down list for Condition 1, select Formula Is. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Conditional Formatting dialog box.

  7. In the formula space just to the right of the drop-down list, enter the following formula:
     =$E3>40000
  1. Click the Format button. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  2. Figure 2. The Format Cells dialog box.

  3. Using the controls in the dialog box, specify how you want the cells that are greater than 40,000 to be displayed.
  4. Click OK to dismiss the Format Cells dialog box.
  5. Click OK to accept your conditional format.

This formula used in the conditional format works because you use the absolute indicator (the dollar sign) just before the column letter. Any reference that has the $ before it is not changed when Excel propagates it throughout a range. In this case, the cell reference will always be to column E, although the row portion of the reference can change.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2798) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Conditionally Formatting an Entire Row.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Replacing Quoted Text with Italics

If you have text surrounded by quotes in a document, you may want to remove the quote marks and make the text that was within ...

Discover More

Converting Forced Text to Numbers

If you have some numbers stored in cells that are formatted as text, you may get some surprises when you try to use those ...

Discover More

Controlling Sorting Order

When you sort information in a worksheet, you have control over the order in which that information is sorted. Here's a quick ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Understanding Color and Conditional Formatting Codes

When you create custom cell formats, you can include codes that allow you to set the color of a cell and that specify the ...

Discover More

Conditional Page Breaks

Need to have your worksheet printout start on a new page every time a value in a column changes? There are a couple of ways ...

Discover More

Hiding Columns Based on a Cell Value

Need to hide a given column based on the value in a particular cell? The easiest way to accomplish the task is to use a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 6 + 4?

2015-10-05 23:10:33

Matt

If you copy/Insert a column/row within conditional formatting boundaries, the conditional formatting will stay intact for the new row/column, and extend the boundary to keep all the previous row/columns.

ie. if conditional formating of columns $A-$J is based on $K, you can insert a column at $C, and the conditional formula for the new larger section $A-$K will change to be based on $L


2015-05-29 19:16:10

skimpniff

I have a table that has different text every row. The columns are configured so that each day has two columns, value and function, which repeat throughout the month.

I am having trouble with a formula. I have the following:

=COUNTIFS($K2,"0",$M2,"")

to format to a specified color applied to

=$A$2:$JA$216

(the whole table essentially)

The purpose is to highlight the whole row white if the value is 0 and the value two columns over is blank. It is in a constantly updating spreadsheet used to track daily numbers. The blank cell requirement is to ensure that the current days values will highlight the row, overriding the previous days value.

The problem I have is copying the formula to another column to the right as the spreadsheet grows with time. When I copy it, the values remain at "K" and "M" because of the absolute $.

I have experimented with variations to the formula which have not yielded acceptable results.

How do I write a formula, or modify the existing one, to highlight the whole row based on a value, and will also be transferable to the next row without manually altering the formula each time?


2014-07-08 11:25:58

Kay

Aha! I'm using 2010. I'll try again.


2014-07-08 10:06:42

Kay

I tried this using the cell contains text "no longer", but it still only formatted the initial specific cell and not the whole ROW. ????


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.