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Format Entire Row Based on One Cell

Format entire row with Conditional Formatting

You can apply conditional formatting that checks the value in one cell, and applies formatting to other cells, based on that value. For example, if the values in column B are over a set value, make the row blue..

conditional formatting on entire row

In this example, we'll colour cells blue, if the number of units, in column B, is greater than 75. At a glance, we'll be able to see which dates have a high number of units.

Video: Format Row with Conditional Formatting

You can watch the steps in this video, and the written instructions are below the video.

Format the Cells

  1. Select the cells that you want to format (A2:D4 in this example)
  2. On the Ribbon's Home tab, click Conditional Formatting, then click New Rule
  3. In the New Formatting Rule window, click Use a Formula to Determine Which Cells to Format
  4. In the rule box, enter a formula that refers to the active cell in the selection. In this example, we selected A2:D4, and cell A2 is the active cell. So, in the formula, we'll refer to cell B2, because it's in the active row.


We use an absolute reference to column B ($B), to ensure that the conditional formatting in all columns refers to the value in column B.

If we used a relative reference (B), the formula will be adjusted in each column, and won't work properly. Each cell would refer to the cell to its right, instead of refering to the cell in column B.

  1. Click the Format button.
  2. In the Format Cells dialog box, select the formatting options that you want. In this example a medium blue fill colour was selected. You could also select a Font format, and a Border format.

    conditional formatting rule

  3. Click OK to close the Format Cells dialog box.

    conditional formatting on entire row

Download the Sample File

Download a zipped sample file for this Excel tutorial

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Excel Conditional Formatting Tutorials

  1. Excel Conditional Formatting -- Introduction
  2. Excel Conditional Formatting -- Multiple Cells
  3. Excel Conditional Formatting -- Examples
  4. Excel Conditional Formatting -- Documentation
  5. Excel Conditional Formatting -- Data Bars  



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Last updated: October 22, 2014 7:46 PM