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How to conditional formatting only in Excel visible cells?

Conditional formatting is widely used in the Excel working, but do you know how to apply conditional formatting only in the visible or filtered cells in Excel? Here, I will introduce how to shade alternated rows in visible cells only and how to highlight top n values in visible cells only.

Shade alternated rows in visible cells only

Highlight top n values in visible cells only

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arrow blue right bubble Shade alternated rows in visible cells only


Shade alternated rows in visible cells only by Conditional formatting function

1. Select the filtered range except the headers, click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule. See screenshot:
doc format visible cells 1

2. In the New Formatting Rule dialog, click Use a Formula to determine which cells to format, and enter this formula =MOD(SUBTOTAL(3,$A$1:$A2),2) into the textbox, click Format to select a filled color for the cells. See screenshot:
doc format visible cells 2

3. Click OK > OK. Then when you filter the data, only the visible cells have been alternately shaded.
doc format visible cells 3

Shade alternated rows by Kutools for Excel

If you want to quickly shade rows alternately, you can apply Kutools for Excel’s Alternate Row/Column Shading.

Kutools for Excel, with more than 120 handy functions, makes your jobs easier. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as below:(Free Download Kutools for Excel Now!)

1. Select the range you want to shade alternately, and click Kutools > Format > Alternate Row/Column Shading. See screenshot:
doc format visible cells 4

2. In the popped out dialog, check Rows in the Apply shading to section, and choose one option you need under Shading method section, and enter 1 into the Shade every textbox. See screenshot:
doc format visible cells 5

3. Click Ok, a dialog pops out to remind you that will remove the conditional formatting in the range, click Yes to continue. And then every other row has been shaded.
doc format visible cells 6
doc format visible cells 7


arrow blue right bubble Highlight top n values in visible cells only

If you want to highlight top n values in visible cells only, for instance, highlight top 3 values in the visible cells of a list, you can do as these:

1. Select a blank cell next to the data, C2 for instance, enter this formula =SUBTOTAL(9,B2), B2 is the value that in the list you want to find the top 3 values, and drag auto fill handle down to apply this formula to the cells. See screenshot:
doc format visible cells 8

2. Select another blank cell, E1, and enter the number of top values you want to find, for instance, enter 3 to find top 3 values from visible cells.
doc format visible cells 9

3. Select the data including formula cells, applying Filter function, see screenshot:
doc format visible cells 10

4. Select the filtered formula cells, C2:C12, and click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule. And in the popping dialog, choose Use a formula to determine which cells to format, and enter this =COUNTIF($C$2:$C$12,">"&$C2)<$E$1 to the textbox, and then click Format to select one color under Fill tab to format the cells. See screenshot:
doc format visible cells 11

5. Click OK > OK. Now the top 3 values in the visible cells have been highlighted.
doc format visible cells 12


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