Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Detecting Errors in Conditional Formatting Formulas.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 7, 2013)
Allan uses a lot of conditional formatting, nearly always using formulas to specify the conditions for the formatting. Recently he discovered, by chance, that he had a #REF! error in one of his conditional format formulas. As far as Allan could figure, this was the result of deleting the row of a cell referred to in the formula. The impact is that the conditional formatting won't work for that condition. This has made Allan concerned that there are other instances of conditional formats that have become corrupted since originally being set up. He wonders if there is any simple way of checking all conditional formatting so that these errors can easily be found.
The best way is to use a macro to step through all the conditional formats defined for a worksheet. The following macro does just that, looking for any #REF! errors in the formulas.
Sub FindCorruptConditionalFormat() Selection.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeAllFormatConditions).Select For Each c In Selection.Cells For Each fc In c.FormatConditions If InStr(1, fc.Formula1, "#REF!", _ vbBinaryCompare) > 0 Then MsgBox Prompt:=c.Address & ": " _ & fc.Formula1, Buttons:=vbOKOnly End If Next fc Next c End Sub
If an error is found, then a message box displays both the address of the cell and the formula used in the conditional formatting rule.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11361) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Detecting Errors in Conditional Formatting Formulas.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
When you compare dates in a conditional formatting rule, you need to be careful how you put your comparisons together. Do it ...Discover More
Setting up conditional formatting can be challenging under some circumstances, but once set it can work great. Unless, of ...Discover More
If you need to shade alternating rows in a data table, you'll want to examine how you can accomplish the task with ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.