How to Highlight Search Words in Excel

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.

Highlighting specific keywords helps identify them when previewing your Excel spreadsheet. Although you can use Excel's "Find and Replace" feature to change formatting, this method can irreversibly change exiting formats, such as borders, cell colors and fonts. A better alternative is "Conditional Formatting." This feature gives true highlighting that can be easily turned off when the highlights are no longer required.


Step 1

Press "Ctrl-A" to select all cells in your Excel spreadsheet.

Video of the Day

Step 2

Click "Conditional Formatting" in the "Styles" group of the "Home" tab.

Step 3

Click "Highlights Cells Rules" from the "Conditional Formatting" drop-down menu, and select "Text That Contains..."


Step 4

Enter the keyword(s) in the "Text That Contains" dialog box, then select a highlighting scheme from the drop-down menu. You can optionally click "Custom Format" to specify more comprehensive formatting options.


Step 5

Click "OK" to complete highlighting. To later disable highlighting, click "Conditional Formatting," "Clear Rules" and "Clear Rules from Entire Sheet."



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...