I'd like a conditional formatting rule to mark cells with formulas one way, and cells with user-typed values instead of formulas another way. This way you can quickly see which cells are filled by formulas and which are not.

For example (this is a trivial, made-up example to make my point): a cell contains a 1 in it. I want it bold if that 1 comes from some formula, like =if(A1=today(), 1, 0), and I want it not bold if the user actually just typed a 1 into the cell. Make sense?

Again, I'm looking for a general-purpose way to identify formula-filled vs user-typed cells.

I am unable to figure it out. Choosing the "Custom formula is" allows you to enter a custom formula to run, rather than matching if a custom formula exists in that cell.

See also: Google's help: Use conditional formatting rules in Google Sheets

2 Answers 2


You have FORMULATEXT, that returns the formula as a string and an error if there's no formula:

=IFNA(FORMULATEXT(A1),"It's not a formula!")="It's not a formula!"

I suggest reading all "Blind Spots" comments! Then, I'm leaving here that I just found that there is a function called ISFORMULA, that will return true if it's a formula:


Or, for user input:

  • 1
    Thank you for all your input! It's truly worthy!
    – Martín
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 22:59
  • isformula() is just what I needed! Upvoted. Thank you. I have extended your answer with a screenshot and additional instructions in my answer here. Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 0:07

How to apply conditional formatting in Google Sheets to only cells which contain a formula:

As @Martin says, =isformula() works! I upvoted that answer, but want to extend it by:

  1. showing a screenshot, and
  2. fully answering the question, which is: "how to use Conditional formatting to make cells with formulas bold, and cells with user-typed data normal"

Here, I selected the entire D column by clicking the column heading, then I went to Format --> Conditional formatting. I chose Custom formula is, and =isformula(D1) to apply my custom formatting to all cells in Column D which contain a formula. For the custom formatting, I chose no fill, and bold. Now, all cells in Column D which contain a formula are automatically made bold! But if I manually type in a value, they are not bold. Perfect!

enter image description here

  • @BlindSpots, I did upvote the other answer. I also marked it as correct to give the person credit for their work. My answer is not a "thank you comment". It's a stand-alone answer with additional value and screenshots, and which fully answers the question, which is: "how to use Conditional formatting to make cells with formulas bold, and cells with user-typed data normal". Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 23:39
  • @BlindSpots, I think your downvote is out-of-place. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 23:39
  • 1
    I'm not downvoting your answer but I won't upvote it unless it adds something more substantial.
    – Blindspots
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 23:57

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