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Special excel conditional formatting

Posted by: admin May 14, 2020 Leave a comment


I have excel data. Names in rows and data about names in columns:

Name Data1 Data2 Data3 ...
AA     1     7     5   ...
BB     8     5     3   ...
CC     5     9     7   ...
...   ...   ...   ...  ...

Now imagine conditional formatting in each column – highlight top 10% values in each column. That is easy conditional formatting what can I do.

But my question is: How to highlight rows which has let’s say 3 and more highlighted cells by conditional formatting in columns?

How to&Answers:

Short of using VBA, you’d need to “Use a formula to determine which cells to format.” In that formula, add each condition found on the row, and format the cell if the sum >= 3.

In the following example, data is conditionally formatted if it’s within the top 20% value per column:

enter image description here

We need a formula that determines if 3 or more data points are within the top 20% per column.

If a number is in the top 20% of a dataset, it’s in the 80th percentile. (100% – 20% = 80%). Excel has a PERCENTILE function, which is just what we need.

=PERCENTILE(A$1:A$15,0.8) returns the number 8. So any value 8 and above should be highlighted, which we see in the example.

We would get TRUE or FALSE if we compared each value in the A column with the percentile. I’ve done the same for all columns below, giving us a grid of TRUEs and FALSEs.

enter image description here

Now we need to determine if there are 3 or more TRUEs. This is easy to do, because TRUE is represented as a 1 in Excel, and FALSE is represented as a 0. So we can add the TRUEs and FALSEs per row:

enter image description here

Combine all this work into a conditional format formula, and this is what you get:

 ($E1>=PERCENTILE($E$1:$E$15,0.8)) >= 3

I used the above formula for my example data, so rows with 3 or more highlighted cells get bold numbers and red borders:

enter image description here


Select columns B:F (here five data columns are assumed, the formula would need extra terms for more than that) and as a Conditional Formatting formula rule apply:


with formatting of your choice (presumably that does not conflict with that for the 10% formatting). Column labels will also be formatted unless range is abbreviated.