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# Conditional formatting the result of the formula in a cell

Posted on 2013-01-10
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I am having trouble with conditional formatting.  It seems that conditional formatting formula function only looks to the contents of the cell instead of looking at the formula result when the cell being conditionally formatted contains a formula.

How do I get around this?
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Question by:IO_Dork
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

I created the following spreadsheet with formulas in column A calculating their values from B and C.  I used =COUNTIF(A:A,A1)>1 as my conditional formatting statement which looks for duplicate entries.  It seems to work fine as if it were looking at the formulas none of the cells would be highlighted because none are dups.  Can you post the formulas that create values as well as the formula you use for your conditional formatting?
condformat.xlsx
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Author Comment

2010 Excel:

Conditional formatting formula:
make cell background pink and font red if =\$N9<TODAY()

Formatting Applies To Cells:
\$N\$9:\$N\$330

N9:N330 contains the formula:
=+IF(LEFT(BDP(\$G9 &" Corp"&" cusip",N\$8),4)="#N/A","-",BDP(\$G9 &" Corp"&" cusip",N\$8))

so if the above formula results in a date that is less than today's date (or a cells that displays a given date), then highlight the cell background with pink and font red.
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

What condition are you using?

Conditional formatting looks at the value in the cell whether it's been manually entered or is the result of a formula.
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LVL 21

Expert Comment

Try this
``````=DATEVALUE(\$N9<TODAY())
``````
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

What exactly does the formula in N9 return?

Is it a 'real' date or text that appears to be a date?
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Author Comment

i am using the last option "Use a formula to determine which cells to format"

also, if I overwrite the formula in the cell with an actual date, the conditional formula works...when I put back the "=+IF(LEFT(BDP(\$G9 &" Corp"&" cusip",N\$8),4)="#N/A","-",BDP(\$G9 &" Corp"&" cusip",N\$8))" formula, it stops working.
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Author Comment

the formula in N9 returns a settlement date...pulls the settlement date from Bloomberg...its works through the Bloomberg Excel add-in
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LVL 21

Accepted Solution

mcsween earned 500 total points
It's a type mismatch; you are trying to compare a date to a string.  You have to cast your string to a date before comparing them.  You may have to use

``````=DATEVALUE(+IF(LEFT(BDP(\$G9 &" Corp"&" cusip",N\$8),4)="#N/A","-",BDP(\$G9 &" Corp"&" cusip",N\$8)))
``````
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LVL 33

Expert Comment

mcsween

If that's the case, and I think it is, the formula you posted earlier should work - with a minor change.

=DATEVALUE(\$N9)<TODAY()
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Author Closing Comment

Thanks, That was the issue, a data type mismatch.
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