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. ...

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