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How to highlight cells based on length of text in Excel?

Supposing you are working with a worksheet which has list of text content, and now, you want to highlight all the cells that the length of the text is greater than 15. In Excel, there is no direct way for you to highlight the cells, but you can apply the Conditional Formatting function along with a formula to solve it.

Highlight cells based on length of text in Excel

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arrow blue right bubbleHighlight cells based on length of text in Excel

With a simple LEN function in Conditional Formatting feature, you can quickly highlight the cells which text length in a certain characters.

1. Select the data range or the whole worksheet that you want to highlight the cells.

2. Click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule, see screenshot:


3. In the New Formatting Rule dialog, click Use a formula to determine which cells to format option, and then enter this formula =LEN(A1)>15 (A1 is the first cell which contains the value and >15 is the criteria that you want to base on, in this case is greater than 15 characters, you can change them as you need) into the Format values where this formula is true text box, see screenshot:


4. Then click Format button, and in the Format Cells dialog, choose one color you like under Fill tab, see screenshot:


5. Then click OK > OK to close the dialogs, and all the cells which character length is greater than 15 are highlighted with your selected color at once.


Note: Conditional Formatting tool is a dynamic function, if you change the length of the text string, the color will be adjusted as well.

Related articles:

How to highlight / conditional formatting cells with formulas in Excel?

How to highlight odd or even numbers in Excel?

How to highlight all error cells in Excel?

How to highlight all named ranges in Excel?

How to highlight cells with external links in Excel?

How to highlight all subtotal rows at once in Excel?

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Sílvia · 6 months ago
    Hello , i need some help please. Is there a way to configurate a Cell to highlight after the 41st character? i would be able to write more than 40 characters...but there would be a highlight in the remaining text... Thanks for your help!
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    Silvia · 6 months ago
    Hello , can someone help me , please ? I need to configurate a Cell in a way that if it has more than 40 characters , it would highlight starting on the 41st character ...:) any idea how? thank you!
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    Chirag Doshi · 11 months ago

    Please can you help me in highlighting the first 6 characters in the cell.

    eg: In the below list, I would like to highlight ABC123, ABC234, ABC345

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    Herman Acker · 1 years ago
    In the Dutch version of Office, LEN did not work, but LENGTE (Dutch for length) dit the trick...

    Something similar might be the case for other languages as well.
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    Lori · 2 years ago
    I tried to use the conditional formatting formula to highlight cells based on length of text, but am not getting the desired results. Here is my scenario: I have a spreadsheet and in one column, every entry consists of 5 "characters". Some of the entries contain 5 letters and some contain 4 letters with a "blank" space at the end. This blank space is being counted as a character. I'm trying to format to highlight all entries with 4 letters and a blank space. Is this possible? Thank you in advance.
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      KZ · 2 years ago
      you can use len(trim(cell containg value)) this will give you the exact count of characters in a cell then you can format the cell you see with different amount of characters.
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      radgar · 2 years ago
      you'll need to strip the string of its 'padding' spaces. Try a formula like =Len(Trim(A1))<>4