How to Find and Highlight Something in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on August 11, 2022

This tutorial demonstrates how to find and highlight something in Excel and Google Sheets.


find and highlight final data


Find and Highlight Something

In Excel, you can find all cells containing a specific value and highlight them with the same background color. Say you have the data set pictured below.


find and highlight initial data


To find all cells containing Michael and apply a green fill, follow these steps.

  1. In the Ribbon, go to Home > Find & Select > Find.


find and highlight find data


  1. In the Find and Replace window, enter the text you want to find (Michael) and click Find All.


find and highlight find data 2


  1. The bottom part of the window, shows all cells where the searched value appears.
    Select one line in the found cells and press CTRL + A on the keyboard to select all cells.
    Then click Close.


find and select cells find data 3


Now that all cells containing Michael are selected (B7, C3, and D4).


find and select cells final data


  1. To highlight them, in the Ribbon, go to Home > Fill Color > Green Color.


find and highlight fill cell color


Finally, all cells that contain the text Michael are highlighted in green.


find and highlight final data


Note: You can also use VBA code to find and highlight cells with a specific value.

Find and Highlight Something in Google Sheets

To find a certain value and highlight in Google Sheets, use conditional formatting.

  1. Select the data range where you want to search for a value (B2:D7), and in the Menu, go to Format > Conditional formatting.


google-sheets-find and highlight conditional formatting


  1. On the right side of the window, select Text contains for Format rules, enter the text to find (e.g., Michael), and click Done.
    Leave the default fill color (green). If necessary, you can change it later using the Fill color icon.


google sheets find and highlight conditional formatting 2


Finally, all cells containing Michael have a green background.


google-sheets-find and highlight final data

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