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How to apply conditional formatting search for multiple words in Excel?

Author: Xiaoyang Last Modified: 2020-04-26
doc highlight contains any words 1

It may be easy for us to highlight rows based on a specific value, this article, I will talk about how to highlight cells in column A depending if they are found in the column D, which means, if the cell content contains any text in a specific list, then highlight as left screenshot shown.

Conditional formatting to highlight the cells contains one of several values

Filter cells contain specific values and highlight them at once


Conditional formatting to highlight the cells contains one of several values

In fact, the Conditional Formatting can help you to solve this job, please do with the following steps:

1. First, please create a range name for the specific words list, select the cell text and enter a range name Mylist (you can rename as you need) into the Name box, and press Enter key, see screenshot:

doc highlight contains any words 2

2. Then select the cells that you want to highlight, and click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule, in the New Formatting Rule dialog box, finish the below operations:

(1.) Click Use a formula to determine which cells to format under the Select a Rule Type list box;

(2.) Then enter this formula: =SUM(COUNTIF(A2,"*"&Mylist&"*")) (A2 is the first cell of the range you want to highlight, Mylist is the range name you have created in step 1) into the Format values where this formula is true text box;

(3.) And then click Format button.

doc highlight contains any words 3

3. Go to the Format Cells dialog box, and choose one color to highlight the cells under the Fill tab, see screenshot:

doc highlight contains any words 4

4. And then click OK > OK to close the dialogs, all the cells which contain any one of the specific list cell values are highlighted at once, see screenshot:

doc highlight contains any words 5


Filter cells contains specific values and highlight them at once

If you have Kutools for Excel, with its Super Filter utility, you can quickly filter the cells which contains specified text values, and then highlight them at once.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 30 days. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as follows:

1. Click Kutools Plus > Super Filter, see screenshot:

2. In the Super Filter pane, please do the following operations:

  • (1.) Check Specified option, and then click doc highlight contains any words 11 button to select the data range that you want to filter;
  • (2.) Choose the relationship among the filter criteria as you need;
  • (3.) Then set the criteria in the criteria list box.

doc highlight contains any words 8

3. After setting the criteria, click Filter to filter the cells contains the specific values as you need. And then choose one fill color for the seleted cells under Home tab, see screenshot:

doc highlight contains any words 9

4. And all the cells contains the specific values are highlighted, now, you can cancel the filter by clicking Clear button, see screenshot:

doc highlight contains any words 10

Click Download and free trial Kutools for Excel Now !


Demo: Filter cells contains specific values and highlight them at once

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Comments (34)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 · 1 ratings
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
=SUMPRODUCT(--ISNUMBER(SEARCH(IF(Mylist<>"",Mylist),A2)))>0
How to Format whole row in this formula
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
THANK YOU VERY MUCH, YOU SAVED A LOT OF TIME OF ME.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Akash,
Glad it can help you!
Have a good new year! 😄
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Above formula not working, coz , My condition (i.e if my list is blank). And if my list is remaining blank excel formatting all cells. Help me.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Akash,
If your data list contains blank cell, please apply the below formula into the Conditional Formatting:
=SUMPRODUCT(--ISNUMBER(SEARCH(IF(Mylist<>"",Mylist),A2)))>0
Please have a try, hope it can help you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I want to format whole Row. In this formula how to format whole Row.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I want to format only the text contained in my list. I do not want to format if my list (one or two cell of my list) is blank
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, AKASH
To solve your problem, the following article may help you:
https://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/2499-excel-conditional-formatting-ignore-blank-zero.html

Please have a try, thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Greetings!

I am trying to use a range of words in a row, from another sheet.
My formula looks like this:

=Info!=SUM(COUNTIF($A1,"*"&LGreen&"*"))

"Info" is the sheet, "LGreen" is the row of words i want to use, and the words start at A1 in "Info" sheet.

But i still get "There is a problem with this formula.......
Does it matter if the words are in a row/column? And how do i make that change in the formula?
I would like to use the whole row (continuous), so that i can put in more words later on.
If not, i can select specific range/cells, as long as i understand whats wrong x)

Thanks in advance!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Sykopaten

In fact, you just need follow the method in the article, in the first step, you should create a range name for your data list in aother sheet, which can be applied to the entire workbook. And then use the formula: =SUM(COUNTIF(A2,"*"&Mylist&"*")) into the conditional formatting of the worksheet you want to highlihgt the cells.

Or you can insert your excel file as attachment here for us to check.

Thank you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Thank you so much to the reply! This surely helped a lot!
Have a great new year! :D
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Sykopaten,
Glad it can help you!
Happy new year!😀
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Can you provide instructions for how to reverse this formula. In the same example, how would you format cells that did NOT contain a word from your keyword list?
Rated 4.5 out of 5
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello, Jeff,
To solve your problem, please apply the below formula:
=IF(SUM(COUNTIF(A2,"*"&Mylist&"*"))=1, 0,1)

Please have a try, hope it can help you!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Consegui, a formula é funcional e adorei!! obrigado!
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
Hello,

is the formula sensitive to space?
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
I have a List that contains "Numbers" and when I run this formula it only work on "Word/Text". What shall be my approach for numbers? For example, I have two rego ( registration) number for management team eg 1234 and 6789, so my data in A column will contain a lot of different vehicle number, i want to hightlight GREEN only these two regos.
This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site
This is for the "OR" function. How do I go abouts this with the "AND"?

As in I need to highlight ONLY the cells that have all of the list and not just either of the list.
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