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10 creative uses for Excel's conditional formatting feature

Find the smallest or largest duplicate

This rule is unstable if you use normal referencing, so apply a range name to your data set before applying the conditional formatting rule. The rule shown here will highlight the value 3 in the range named List only if 3 is also a duplicate. (To find the largest duplicate value, substitute the MIN() function with MAX().)

About

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.