So I'm using Google sheets and I would like a cell to conditionally highlight when the cell does not have 2 specific texts.

enter image description here

So in my example, I would like cell B26 to highlight ONLY if it does not contain NYS or JFK.

Is that possible? It doesn't seem like there's a built in option in Google sheets.

A lot of guides only teach how to create custom formulae for texts that exist.

I'm looking for the opposite effect.

2 Answers 2


In Conditional Formatting try with a custom formula like this:

=and (B8:B <> "JFK", B8:B <> "NYS" , B8:B <> "JFK/NYS" ) 

do not highlight

  • Don't think this is right. Try =not(and (B8 <> "JFK", B8 <> "NYS" , B8 <> "JFK/NYS" ) )
    – Tedinoz
    May 15 at 9:55
  • @Tedinoz Maybe you read the question too quickly ... your formula will highlight ALL cells containing JFK / NYS ... but OP wanted exactly the opposite i.e. all but those
    – Daniele
    May 15 at 15:00
  • You are zbsolutely right, I had left formula as-is, but my data was in Colum A. Argh.
    – Tedinoz
    May 15 at 23:48
  • This worked! Thank you so much!!!
    – user295402
    May 19 at 8:27
  • So I tried the same thing for column C (but I replaced JFK & NYS with "1 Aug 2022" and "31 July 2022", and "B8:B to "C8:C"), changing the Apply to range field to C8 - but somehow it doesn't work. Is there a reason for this?
    – user295402
    May 19 at 14:20

Have you tried checking the options under Conditional Formatting

You can add multiple rules to a single cell and apply the rules to other cells afterwards

enter image description here

  • What would you enter in the "Value or formula field"?
    – Tedinoz
    May 15 at 9:43
  • Tried this at first. Basically if I do this, the cell is highlighted if it doesn't have both NYS and JFK.
    – user295402
    May 19 at 8:10

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