During a Microsoft Excel training session a few week’s ago, I had a great question about using conditional formatting to highlight dates earlier than the current one, in other words, how can we highlight dates that occur in the past? This was a great question and so I thought I would publish a post this week about how to do this.
If you haven’t used conditional formatting in Excel before, be sure to check out my post outlining how to use conditional formatting in Excel.
- Open the workbook you wish to apply formatting to.
- Highlight the column which contains the dates you want to work with.
- From the Home tab select the Conditional Formatting button and choose New Rule.
- The New Formatting Rule dialog box will appear:
- From the Select a Rule Type, choose Format only cells that contain.
- In the Edit the Rule Description section you need to tell Excel that any cell which contains a date which is less than today’s date, highlight it.
- In the Format only cells with section, leave the first drop down menu set as Cell Value.
- For the next drop down menu change it to less than as shown below:
- In the formula box type =TODAY()
- This formula will look for a cell value that is less than “today”:
- Now to specify the format you want to apply, click the Format button.
- I have chosen to have the text change to Red and Bold.
- Click OK.
- Click OK again to complete the Conditional Formatting rule.
- Any dates which occur prior to today’s date will now appear in the formatting you specified:
Note: For the above example, today’s date is 20 February 2017.
Want to conditional format for a range of dates?
Click here to see how you can use conditional formatting for a range of dates.
Love this article? Comment below and let me know how you’ve utilised this feature. Be sure to check out my other Microsoft Excel content here.