I want to conditional format the columns B to G, if one of them contains the text in say, cell H5. This is the formula I use for that, =$H$5=B1 at the moment.

What I want is for the conditional format to work even if its a partial match. E.g. if I search for 'eggs', and a cell has the text 'boiled eggs' that should get highlighted too. I've used the match function before in this manner =MATCH("*text*",G1,0)' so it searches for partial matches. And what I want is for it to conditional format if the text in H5 is a complete match or even a partial match.
So the formula would be something like =match("*H5*"...)

Basically its like the cell is a Google search bar.

Pls see the Inventory tab. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rlATwRPTkofEg0rB5-GSwwBpQDa7ZOoeNvhs0xPOsKA/edit#gid=0

This the formula I use at the moment for exact matches enter image description here

1 Answer 1


Please try the following formula in Custom formula is


enter image description here

  • No sorry, that's not what I want actually. I want to enter the name into a cell, & conditional format picks up that value and runs to formula to highlight the cells. So its like in place of the eggs, I want the cell reference, so it picks up whichever text is in the cell & matches, partial or full match. The cell should act like a search bar.
    – Genny
    Nov 1, 2020 at 10:14
  • Aha... I misunderstood your question. Please check the updated answer. Nov 1, 2020 at 12:38
  • 1
    A very useful and clever conditional formatting case. Well thought. To take it a step further. Cell H5 could be a drop down with your ingredients through data validation. Nov 1, 2020 at 12:39
  • 1
    Thank you so much AGAIN! Now I'll be googling to breakdown you solution to find out how it works :D
    – Genny
    Nov 1, 2020 at 14:09
  • I'll trade my secrets for recipes. Deal? :) Nov 1, 2020 at 14:30

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