Conditional formatting en masse

Tyler Rose
Occasional Contributor

Hello! I am trying to accomplish the following process:


If A1 and B1 cell contents don't match, format both A1 and B1

If A2 and B2 cell contents don't match, format both A2 and B2

If A3 and B3 cell contents don't match, format both A3 and B3

...and so on for the entire column


Is this possible to do without adding a new rule for each row? I have thousands of rows to apply this to, and they all need to function independently from each other. Thank you so much for your time!

6 Replies

Hi Tyler,

It's like a rule


Thank you for taking the time to respond, Sergei. However, unless I misunderstand, this does not solve my problem. I need to apply this rule to every row in the sheet and have both cells affected by the conditional format. Thank you again! :)

I found a solution! (In case anyone else has this problem in the future and stumbles upon this post)


First, highlight A1:B1. Apply conditional formatting with the rule type "Format only unique or duplicate values". Select unique and format as desired.


Then, to apply en masse, but have them function independently, highlight A1:B1 again and double click the Format Painter. After that, hold the down arrow until all desired rows have had the rule applied to them.


If anyone knows of an easier way, please let me know!


IMHO, easier with formula


or simply


applied to your entire range


With format painter you generate as many rules as rows in your range.

Ignore my last reply, I deleted it. I needed to use the absolute reference to solve my issue. Thank you so much Sergei! This is great.

Tyler your method worked fine but you can apply it to the entire column simply by clicking on the column letter at the top after double-clicking format painter. Brilliant.

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