Table conditional formatting

Copper Contributor

Hi all,


I am trying to compare a column which is an index match returned value to a static value cell.  And highlight any variances in the index match column if different.


=[@[Updated Department]]<>[@Department] - i have used this in the table to identify true/false.  However when using conditional formatting, i cannot seem to get this to operate and highlight.  How would i go about completing this to highlight?

7 Replies


You cannot use structured table references in a conditional formatting formula (at least not directly).

Use the cell references instead, referring to the first data row of the table.

Hi Hans,

Thanks for the reply, i have attempted using cell references, and it does not appear to work. I've tried =$G$2<>$L$2.

i assume the error i am making is straight forward, but whichever way i have attempted to reference the cells, i either get no formatting, or it formats the entire range even where the value isn't true (as if it's referencing only one value).

@Stryfe24 The references to the row number 2 should be relative:



@Hans Vogelaar 


Hi Hans,

I am still facing some difficulties, i have included a test document which fairly represents what im trying to do, as you can see the conditional format should reference row to row, and only highlight where the value varies, in the example it is highlighting an example where there is no change.


You applied the rule to the entire column B.

You should apply it to $B$2:$B5 instead. Since that is a table column, Excel will automatically expand it when you add new rows to the table.

See the attached version.

That's great, thanks Hans. One final question - i plan on updating the values for anything highlighted, as such the formatting will remove the highlighting. Is there any way to maintain the highlighting so other users can see what has been updated?


You can use the structured references if they are 'hidden' within a defined name.

= (updated = original)


updated  = Table1[@updated]
original = Table1[@original]

It gets rid of direct cell referencing with the mixed $ anchoring but whether that is worth the effort is a matter of opinion.