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10 creative uses for Excel's conditional formatting feature

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This rule compares each value in column A to its counterpart in column B. If they're not the same, Excel highlights the value in column A. To highlight the values in column B instead, select the values in column B and update the rule formula to reference the values in column A.

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Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

2 comments
mark
mark

You have to go in to Conditional Formatting, find and open the rule for edit (but don't have to make changes), [OK] it, [Accept] it and [Close] it. What a pain! So how is this made 'Dynamic'?

jberezinski
jberezinski

Hi Susan, great tips for Excel users. But what do you mean "This rule is unstable if you use normal referencing"? I realize it might be off-topic or beyond the scope of your post, but is there a straight-forward set of rules or guidelines for determining when it is appropriate to use named ranges so that the formula or conditional formula will produce the desired outcome? I would have probably attempted this using normal referencing, and when it didn't work, I would have probably resorted to using additional columns of formulas referencing the original data set / range.