Excel: Apply Conditional Formatting Based on Date in Another Cell


To apply conditional formatting to cells in Excel based on the date in another cell, you can use the New Rule option under the Conditional Formatting dropdown menu within the Home tab.

The following example shows how to use this option in practice.

Example: Apply Conditional Formatting Based on Date in Another Cell

Suppose we have the following dataset in Excel that shows the date that various people applied for some position:

Suppose the cutoff date for the application was 10/15/2022 and we would like to apply conditional formatting to any date that is after this cutoff date.

First, we can type this date in cell E1:

Next, we can highlight the cells in the range B2:B11, then click the Conditional Formatting dropdown menu on the Home tab and then click New Rule:

In the new window that appears, click Use a formula to determine which cells to format, then type =B2>$E$1 in the box, then click the Format button and choose a fill color to use.

Once we press OK, all of the cells in the range B2:B11 that have a date after 10/15/2022 will be highlighted:

Excel conditional formatting based on date in another cell

If you change the cutoff date in cell E1, then the conditional formatting rule will automatically update.

For example, suppose we change the cutoff date to 1/5/2023.

Any date that is after this new cutoff date will become highlighted:

Note: We chose to use a light green fill for the conditional formatting in this example, but you can choose any color and style you’d like for the conditional formatting.

Additional Resources

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in Excel:

Excel: Apply Conditional Formatting to Overdue Dates
Excel: Apply Conditional Formatting if Cell is Between Two Dates
Excel: Apply Conditional Formatting Based on Multiple Conditions

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One Reply to “Excel: Apply Conditional Formatting Based on Date in Another Cell”

  1. How do I apply conditioner formatting to a column of enrollment year, which comprises different years and in short date format (i.e. including month and day). Formatting the 1st year of enrollment from the data.
    Thanks

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