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How to Check if a Cell is a Function Using Conditional Formatting

Are you tired of manually checking whether a cell in your Google Sheets contains a function or just a value? Conditional formatting can be your saviour!

With this powerful feature, you can automatically highlight cells that contain functions, making it easier to spot them amidst your data.

In this guide, I’ll walk you through the simple steps to set up conditional formatting to identify functions in Google Sheets.


Step 1: Open Your Google Sheet

First things first, open the Google Sheet that you want to work with. If you haven’t already created one, go ahead and do so now.

Step 2: Select the Range

Next, select the range of cells where you want to check for functions. You can choose a single cell, a column, a row, or even the entire sheet, depending on your needs.

Step 3: Access Conditional Formatting

Once you’ve selected the desired range, navigate to the menu at the top of the Google Sheets interface. Click on “Format,” then select “Conditional formatting” from the dropdown menu.

Step 4: Set Up the Conditional Formatting Rule

In the Conditional formatting pane that appears on the right-hand side of your screen, you’ll see various options for creating rules. Here’s how to set up the rule to identify functions:

  1. Under the “Format cells if” dropdown menu, select “Custom formula is.”
  2. In the input box next to it, enter the following formula:

Or if you want to show which cells are not functions use this formula:


Replace “A1” with the top-left cell of your selected range. This formula checks whether the cell contains a formula (i.e., a function) or not.

  1. Choose the formatting style you want to apply to the cells containing functions. This could be a background colour, text colour, or any other formatting option available.

Step 5: Apply the Rule

After setting up the conditional formatting rule, click on the “Done” button. Google Sheets will instantly apply the formatting to the selected range based on the conditions you specified.

Step 6: Check the Results

Now, take a look at your spreadsheet. Any cell within the selected range that contains a function will be highlighted according to the formatting you applied. This makes it easy to identify which cells contain formulas at a glance.

In Summary

Conditional formatting in Google Sheets is a powerful tool that can help streamline your workflow and make data analysis more efficient.

By setting up a simple rule to identify cells containing functions, you can quickly spot important information and focus your attention where it’s needed most.

So why waste time manually checking each cell when you can let Google Sheets do the work for you?

Give it a try and see how much time you can save!

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