Highlight Blank Cells (Conditional Formatting) – Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Mel Jenkins

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on July 9, 2022

This tutorial will demonstrate how to highlight blank cells using Conditional Formatting in Excel and Google Sheets.


conditional formatting highlight blank cells


Highlight Blank Cells

To highlight blank cells with Conditional Formatting, use the ISBLANK Function within a conditional formatting rule.

  1. Select the range you want to apply formatting to.
  2. In the Ribbon, select Home > Conditional Formatting > New Rule.


conditional formattng menu


  1. Select Use a formula to determine which cells to format, and enter the formula:


conditional formatting new rule


  1. Click on the Format button and select your desired formatting.


conditional formatting set format


  1. Click OK, then OK again to return to the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager.


conditional formatting rules manager


  1. Click Apply to apply the formatting to your selected range, then Close.

Now blank cells are formatted as specified (blue fill color).


conditional formatting master


Highlight Blank Cells – Google Sheets

The process to highlight cells based on the value contained in that cell in Google Sheets is similar to the process in Excel.

  1. Highlight the cells you wish to format, and then click on Format, Conditional Formatting.


google sheets conditional formatting menu


  1. The Apply to Range section will already be filled in.


google sheets conditional formatting range


  1. From the Format Rules section, select Custom Formula.


google sheets conditional formatting custom formula


  1. Select the fill style for the cells that meet the criteria.


google sheets conditional formatting format


  1. Click Done to apply the rule.


google sheets custom formatting blank cells

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