Applying Conditional Formatting to Multiple Worksheets

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 2, 2019)

Prior to upgrading her version of Excel, Paula was able to select more than one sheet and apply conditional formatting to a group of cells. But when she selects more than one worksheet in Excel now, the conditional formatting option fades. Paula is wondering how she can apply conditional formatting to more than one sheet at a time.

Good question, Paula. It seems that Microsoft did make this change as part of the ribbon-based user interface used in modern versions of Excel. (The ribbon-based interface was introduced with Excel 2007.) Why did they do this? I have no idea, but users are stuck with the results of the change—not being able to apply conditional formatting across multiple worksheets at the same time.

We were able to come up with only two workarounds. The first workaround involves copying the conditional formatting from one worksheet to another. Apply the conditional formatting to the first worksheet, then select all those cells to which you applied the formatting. Next, click the Format Painter (on the Home tab of the ribbon in the Clipboard group), switch to the target worksheet, and select the cells to which the formatting should be applied. That's it.

The second workaround involves running the macro recorder while setting up the conditional formatting on your first worksheet. You can then re-run the macro as you display each of your other worksheets, in turn. The conditional formats are applied to the same cells on the other worksheets.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3433) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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

Specifying an Axis Scale in Microsoft Graph

Microsoft Graph is a handy way to add charts to your document if you don't have access to Excel. Here's how to adjust the ...

Discover More

Counting String Occurrences in Odd Rows

Counting the number of times text occurs within a range of cells can be relatively easy. If you need to only count ...

Discover More

Finding the End of the Worksheet

Want a quick way to get to the last cell in your worksheet? This tip provides a handy shortcut and a potential "gotcha."

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Highlighting Cells Containing both Letters and Numbers

Conditional formatting is a great tool for changing the format of cells based on whether certain conditions (rules) are ...

Discover More

Copying Conditional Formatting

Conditional formatting is a great feature in Excel. Here's how you can copy conditional formats from one cell to another ...

Discover More

Highlighting Cells Containing Specific Text

If you want to highlight cells that contain certain characters, you can use the conditional formatting features of Excel ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 two more than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu 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.