Conditional Formatting If Cell Contains Text in Google Sheets

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to set up conditional formatting if a cell contains text in Google Sheets

Conditional Formatting If Cell Contains Text in Google Sheets

Conditional formatting is a powerful tool in Google Sheets that can highlight cells that meet certain criteria. For example, you can use conditional formatting to highlight all cells that contain a certain word or phrase.

This guide will show you how to use conditional formatting to highlight cells containing text in Google Sheets. We will provide an example that only highlights cells that contain specific text as well as an example that highlights cells with any text.

How to Use Conditional FormattingTo Highlight Cells with Text in Google Sheets

Here’s how to use conditional formatting to highlight cells with text in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Select the range you want to add conditional formatting to. In this example, we have a table with a mix of empty and non-empty cells.

Step 2

In the Format drop-down menu, select the Conditional formatting option.

Step 3

In the Conditional format rules panel, select the Is not empty option from the drop-down list. This will ensure that only cells that contain text will be highlighted.

Next, you may set up what formatting you want to use for cells that follow the given criteria. Click on Done to proceed.

Step 4

The selected range should now highlight cells that contain text.

Do note that white text such as spaces are ignored and not considered as text.

Step 5

We can also modify the format rules to only highlight cells containing certain text. For example, you may want to highlight all cells in a range that contain the digit 5.

Simply choose the Text contains option from the drop-down menu seen above. A new textbox will appear where you can input the specific text you want to check as a criteria.

Step 6

Your range should now only highlight cells that contain the specified text.


This guide should be everything you need to add conditional formatting if cells contain text in Google Sheets.

You may make a copy of this example spreadsheet to test it out on your own.