Advanced Condtional Formatting
Excel Tips and Tricks

Search Text from Specific or all columns in Excel

In this article, you will learn how to use Advanced Conditional Formatting to search text in data. Here we have taken the example for employee Performance rating data. We two type of search –Search in specific column and Search in all columns.

Note: This trick is useful only for small data set.

Search in specific Column:

To search in specific column, just select the column name form the drop down and put your search text in yellow highlighted cells the relevant data will be highlighted.

Search in specific Column
Search in specific Column

To use this trick, below are the setps-

  • Select your data except headers
  • Go to Home tab >> Conditional Formatting >> New Rule
  • Click on Use a formula to determine which cells to format
  • Put “=ISERROR(SEARCH($D$1,INDIRECT(ADDRESS(ROW(A3),MATCH($C$1,$A$2:$F$2,0),3))))” in formula text box.
Conditional Formatting window
Conditional Formatting window
  • Click on Format button
  • Format Cells window will be opened
  • Go to Font tab and select gray color.
Format cells window
Format cells window

Search in all Columns:

To search in all columns, we take below given formula and rest process will remain same.

Formula – “=ISERROR(SEARCH($D$1,CONCATENATE($A3,$B3,$C3,$D3,$E3,$F3)))

Search in all Columns
Search in all Columns

Click here to download the Practice file-

Watch the step by step video tutorial:

My Name is PK. I am founder of I am a Microsoft Certified Professional. I have more than 12 years of experience in Data Visualization, Excel Automation and dashboard creation. Excel is my passion and I like to do always something innovative in Excel and share it with other people.