How to Change Cell Color in Excel Based on Text Input: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing Cell Color in Excel Based on Text Input

Alright, if you need to change cell color in Excel based on text input, it’s simpler than you might think. With a few clicks and some conditional formatting, you can make cells change color automatically depending on what text you enter. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to apply these changes like a pro.

How to Change Cell Color in Excel Based on Text Input

Let’s dive into the steps to change cell color in Excel based on text input. This guide will walk you through everything from selecting your cells to setting up conditional formatting rules.

Step 1: Select the Cells

First thing’s first: you need to select the cells where you want the color changes to happen.

To do this, click and drag your mouse over the cells. You can also use the Shift key to select a range of cells or Ctrl to select multiple individual cells.

Step 2: Open Conditional Formatting

Next, you need to open the Conditional Formatting menu.

Go to the Home tab on the ribbon, and click on "Conditional Formatting". This is where all the magic happens.

Step 3: Create a New Rule

Now, it’s time to create a new rule.

Click "New Rule" from the drop-down menu. This will open a new dialog box where you can set your conditions.

Step 4: Select Rule Type

Choose the rule type.

In the dialog box, select "Format only cells that contain". This tells Excel to apply formatting based on the text you enter.

Step 5: Specify the Text

Enter the text that will trigger the color change.

Type the specific text in the "Format only cells with" section. This could be something like "Complete" or "Pending".

Step 6: Set the Format

Choose how you want the cell to look.

Click the "Format" button and choose your preferred color under the Fill tab. You can also change the font style or add borders if you want.

Step 7: Apply and Save

Apply your new rule.

Click "OK" to close the Format Cells window, and then click "OK" again to close the New Formatting Rule window. Your rule is now applied.

After you complete these steps, your selected cells will automatically change color based on the text you enter. You can even set multiple rules for different text inputs.

Tips for Changing Cell Color in Excel Based on Text Input

  • Use Clear Text: Make sure the text you use to trigger color changes is distinct and unambiguous.
  • Multiple Rules: You can create multiple rules for different text inputs, allowing for a dynamic and colorful spreadsheet.
  • Practice: Spend some time practicing on a test spreadsheet to get the hang of it.
  • Avoid Clutter: Be cautious of using too many colors, as it can make your spreadsheet look cluttered and hard to read.
  • Know Your Audience: Consider who will be using the spreadsheet and make sure the colors you choose are easy on the eyes and meaningful.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove a conditional formatting rule?

To remove a rule, go to the Conditional Formatting menu, select "Manage Rules", and then delete the rule you no longer need.

Can I copy conditional formatting to another cell?

Yes, you can. Use the Format Painter tool to copy the formatting from one cell to another.

Are there limits to how many rules I can set?

Excel allows you to set multiple rules, but too many can slow down your spreadsheet, so use them wisely.

Can I use formulas in conditional formatting?

Absolutely! You can use formulas to set conditions, which provides even more flexibility for your formatting needs.

What happens if two rules conflict?

Excel applies the rules in the order they are listed. You can prioritize them in the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager.


  1. Select the cells.
  2. Open Conditional Formatting.
  3. Create a new rule.
  4. Select a rule type.
  5. Specify the text.
  6. Set the format.
  7. Apply and save.


There you have it! Changing cell color in Excel based on text input is a powerful way to make your data stand out and be more visually intuitive. By following these steps, you can easily set up conditional formatting to highlight important information or keep track of tasks. Remember to practice and refine your skills, as this will only make you more proficient in using Excel. Feel free to explore other conditional formatting options, like using icons or data bars, to make your spreadsheets even more dynamic. Happy Excel-ing!

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