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 How to conditional formatting if the cell contains partial text in Excel?

Is it possible for us to highlight the cells which contain partial text within the cell? For example, I want to search for the cells which contain the text “sheet” and then highlight them as following screenshot shown. This article, I will talk about some quick tricks to deal with this task.

Highlight the cells which contain partial text by using Conditional Formatting

Highlight the cells which contain partial text by using Kutools for Excel


Highlight the cells which contain partial text by using Conditional Formatting


In fact, the Conditional Formatting in Excel can help you to highlight the cells if contain partial text as quickly as you need. Please do as follows:

1. Select the text list that you want to highlight the cells which contain partial text, and then click Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule, see screenshot:

2. In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, click Use a formula to determine which cells to format option in the Select a Rule Type list box, and then enter this formula: =search(“sheet”,A2) into the Format values where this formula is true text box, see screenshot:

Note: In the formula, “sheet” is partial text which you want to search cells based on, A2 is the first cells within the selected range of cells.

3. And then click Format button, in the popped out Format Cells dialog box, click Fill tab, and then choose one color to highlight the specific cells you need. See screenshot:

4. Then click OK > OK to close the dialog boxes, and then cells which contain the specific partial text have been highlighted at once, see screenshot:


Highlight the cells which contain partial text by using Kutools for Excel

If you have Kutools for Excel, with its useful Select Specific Cells feature, you can quickly select the cells if contain partial text, and then shade them with a background color as you need.

Kutools for Excel : with more than 300 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 60 days. 

After installing Kutools for Excel, please do as this:

1. Select the cells which you want to use, and then click Kutools > Select > Select Specific Cells, see screenshot:

2. In the Select Specific Cells dialog box, select Cell from the Selection type, and then choose Contains in the Specific type drop down list, and enter the partial text “sheet” beside the text box, see screenshot:

3. Then click Ok, and all cells which contains the partial text “sheet” have been selected at once, and then you can go to the Home tab to choose one color for highlighting the result, see screenshot:

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Demo: Highlight the cells which contain partial text by using Kutools for Excel

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    Biplab Das · 4 months ago
    Instead of "Sheet" I want to use Cell Reference as A2. How Can I do. Please guide me.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      skyyang · 4 months ago
      Hi, Biplab,
      If you want to use a cell reference to replace the specific value, first, you should give the cell a range name, for example, give the cell A2 a range name-Text, and then use the below formula into the conditional formatting:

      =SEARCH(Text,E2)

      Then, you can put any text value in A2, and the conditional formatting rule will change based on the specific data in cell A2.

      Please try it, thank you!