Highlight multiple cells in Excel using conditional formatting

You don’t need to highlight cells manually in Excel. We will show four examples of using conditional formatting > highlight cells rules in Excel without a formula. This tool is easy to use when you have lots of data you want to organize with colors. This article will teach you how to use and apply conditional formatting in Excel to highlight cells the easy way.

Use conditional formatting to highlight multiple cells in Excel

We want to show you how to apply conditional formatting to multiple cells in Excel. You can use this tool without needing any formula. Highlighting cells with different colors, give a better overview of your data.

Format multiple cells that are greater than a value

We have created an example below where we show the weather of a few cities for an entire month. The temperatures are written in Celsius. Visually, we want to highlight the warm, medium, and cold temperatures from our data. Of course, we can manually highlight each cell, but using conditional formatting in Excel will save us a lot of time.

Follow these steps to apply conditional formatting to multiple cells.

  1. Select multiple cells of your data. Use the mouse cursor to select the cells you want to format in your Excel sheet. In our example, we choose the range (C3:F33).
  2. Go to Home > Conditional formatting in the ribbon
  3. Select > Highlight Cells Rules
  4. Choose > Greater than
greater than conditional formatting excel
  • Enter the values in the Greater Than dialog box. In the left bar > type the number you want. In our example, we write 18. When you type a number, you will immediately see changes in your data. You don’t need to change the colors in the right bar as we want to use red.
  • Click OK

Now you should see all the temperatures above 18 degrees Celsius colored red with highlighted cells.

format cells greater than

How to highlight several cells that are less than a value

We will show you how to highlight multiple cells using conditional formatting less than without a formula. The only difference is that we will use another color now. In our example, we want to color the cold temperatures blue.

Use these steps to highlight several cells that are less than a value:

  • First, select the cells of your data with your mouse cursor. In our case, select the range (C3:F33).
  • Go to Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cell Rules > Less Than

See the below picture to follow the steps easily.

How to use conditional formatting in Excel to highlight cells

The Less Than dialog box opens op:

  • In the left bar, you can write a number. In our example > write 5
  • Change the color highlight in the right bar > Click on the arrow > Choose the last one > Custom Format

There is no blue color in this selection, so we need to pick a color from the Format Cells dialog box.

How to use conditional formatting in Excel to highlight cells

Follow these steps in the Format Cells dialog box:

  • Click on the Font tab to color the text
  • Go to color > click on the arrow
  • From this selection > select a color, e.g., dark blue
  • On the right picture, you can see the color you selected
  • Stay in the same Format Cells dialog box > Click on the Fill tab
  • To highlight the cell > Choose the light color blue. You can see the sample color below. Don’t choose the same blue colors as you will not read the numbers. Use a dark color text with a lighter shade to fill the cell.
  • Click OK
how to highlight cells in excel using conditional formatting

All the cells with temperatures below 5 degrees Celcius are highlighted blue.

highlight cells

Highlight multiple cells that are between two numbers

In the end, you could highlight cells with temperatures between 5 and 18 degrees Celsius. We want to use the yellow color for these cells in our example.

Follow these steps to format multiple cells between two numbers in Excel:

  • First, select the cells from your data. In our example, select the range (C3:F33).
  • Go to Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Between

Look at the picture below to understand the steps.

How to use conditional formatting in Excel to highlight cells

The Between dialog box will open, and you can see three different bars.

  • The left bar > type the low value, which is 5 in our example.
  • In the middle bar > type the higher value, which is 18 in our case.
format cells between two values

In the right bar, you can choose the color.

  • Click on the arrow
  • Then, select > Yellow Fill with Dark Yellow Text
highlight multiple cells

Now the Between dialog box should look like the picture below.

  • Click OK
highlight multiple cells in Excel

The result of your data should look like the picture below.

highlight multiple cells

Highlight multiple cells with text using conditional formatting

You have managed to apply conditional formatting in Excel on cells with numbers. Now we will show you how to highlight multiple cells containing text. As you can see, we wrote the weekdays in our data in column B. Visually, we want to see the start of each week with a green color. Therefore we decided to highlight all the cells with text Monday.

Follow the steps below to highlight multiple cells containing text in Excel using conditional formatting:

  • First, we want to select the cells we want to format. In our example, we choose the range (B3:B33)
  • Then we go to Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Text that Contains
highlight cells that contain text

The Text that Contains dialog box opens:

  • In the left bar, write > Monday
  • In the right bar, choose > Green Fill with Dark Green Text
  • Click OK
format cells that contain text

All the cells with the text Monday will change to a green color. It is the color we choose for our example.

highlight cells containing text

Conclusion

Now you know how to use conditional formatting highlight > cells rules in Excel. There is no need to use formulas when highlighting multiple cells in your data. You can even highlight cells containing the exact text in your spreadsheet.

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