How to highlight non-blank cells in Excel?

If you have a large number of data in a worksheet which populated with some blank cells, and you want to highlight all the cells which have data and ignoring the blank cells, how could you do in Excel?

Highlight non-blank cells with Conditional Formatting in Excel

Select and fill color for non-blank cells with a useful feature in Excel


Select non-blank cells and fill with font or background color

Kutools for Excel's Select Nonblank Cells utility can help you to select all data cells with only one click, and then you can format, copy or delete the selected cells as you need. Click to download Kutools for Excel!

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Highlight non-blank cells with Conditional Formatting in Excel

Conditional Formatting is a powerful feature in Excel, with it, we can quickly highlight all non-blank cells at once.

1. Select the data range that you want to highlight the cells with content.

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

3. In the New Formatting Rule dialog, please click Use a formula to determine which cells to format from the Select a Rule Type list box, and then enter this formula =NOT(ISBLANK(A1)) into the Format values where this formula is true text box, see screenshot:

4. And then click Format button, in the popped out Format Cells dialog, choose one color you like under the Fill tab, see screenshot:

5. Then click OK > OK to close the dialogs, and now, you can see all the cells which contain data have been highlighted at once. See screenshot:

Note: The Conditional Formatting tool is a dynamic function, the fill color will be updated automatically by deleting or inserting data.


Select and fill color for non-blank cells with a useful feature in Excel

If you have Kutools for Excel, with its Select Nonblank Cells feature, you can quickly select all non blank cells with only a click.

Tips:To apply this Select Nonblank Cells feature, firstly, you should download the Kutools for Excel, and then apply the feature quickly and easily.

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as this:

1. Select the range of cells that you want to select only data cells, and then, click Kutools > Select > Select Nonblank Cells, see screenshot:

2. And then, all data cells will be selected at once, and a dialog box will pop out to remind you how many non blank cells are selected, see screenshot:

3. And then, you can fill the selected cells with font or background color as you need, see screenshot:

Click to Download Kutools for Excel and free trial Now!


More relative data validation articles:

  • Highlight largest / lowest value in each row or column
  • If you have multiple columns and rows data, how could you highlight the largest or lowest value in each row or column? It will be tedious if you identify the values one by one in each row or column. In this case, the Conditional Formatting feature in Excel can do you a favor. Please read more to know the details.
  • Highlight Cells Based On Length Of Text In Excel
  • Supposing you are working with a worksheet which has list of text strings, and now, you want to highlight all the cells that the length of the text is greater than 15. This artical, I will talk about some methods for solving this task in Excel.
  • Highlight / Conditional Formatting Cells With Formulas In Excel
  • Supposing you have a large worksheet which contains both constants and formulas, and now you want to know the location of all the formula cells. Of course, you can select all the formulas easily and quickly by using Go To Special function. But if your data or formulas need to be changed now and then, you must apply this function repeatedly.
  • Highlight Duplicate Values In Different Colors In Excel
  • In Excel, we can easily highlight the duplicate values in a column with one color by using the Conditional Formatting, but, sometimes, we need to highlight the duplicate values in different colors to recognize the duplicates quickly and easily as following screenshot shown. How could you solve this task in Excel?
  • Highlight Rows Based On Drop Down List In Excel
  • This article will talk about how to highlight rows based on drop down list, take the following screenshot for example, when I select “In Progress” from the drop down list in column E, I need to highlight this row with red color, when I select “Completed” from the drop down list, I need to highlight this row with blue color, and when I select “Not Started”, a green color will be used to highlight the row.

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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    anthony · 3 years ago
    as an addentum to the previous comment, as an alternative method for highlighting all empty cells:

    Conditional Formatting/Highlight Cells Rules/Equal To.../ and type in the following formula:

    =A1=""


    done! :)
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Scott · 3 years ago
    I have a similar issue, but I don't understand why the above solution works. If I highlight Cells A1-G10, then use the conditional formatting statement above, =NOT(ISBLANK(A1)), and select a colr for fill, what I would 'expect to happen' is if A1 is blank, no cells would be filled. If A1 has a non-blank value, ALL the cells from A1 through G10 would be highlighted, since A1 is no longer blank.

    So what am I missing? I have several dozen cells in a form that I want to change color 'if' the user enters in a value (visual feedback). I am having to do this individually for every cell, since I want each cell to change color ONLY if a non-blank value is entered into its cell. I'd love to be able to do this so that the ISBLANK() statement 'self references. I tried to replace ISBLANK() with "" (thus, the statement =NOT(""), but that did not work.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Mojo · 1 years ago
      rule: =NOT(ISBLANK($A2))
      applies to : =$C2,$F2,$L2
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Leo · 3 years ago
      You're very lucky as I know the answer to your problem. The formula of this guy is wrong as, like you mentioned, the logic only applies if cell A1 is blank or not. What you need to do is replace that with the cell range you wan't to apply the highlight on.

      For instance, if you want to highlight cells with values for cells A1 to A5, then you need to have the following formula:

      =NOT(ISBLANK(A1:A5))

      As simple as that. Cheers!
      • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
        Dan · 2 years ago
        Actually you just need to put in the first cell in the range in which you want the conditional formatting to work. Example you want to apply the formatting to the range B12 - HS12 you would use the formulae =NOT(ISBLANK(B12))