My goal is to apply conditional formatting to the minimum value in a row of a Google Spreadsheets.

Under Conditional Formatting I've tried using "Custom Formula Is" =MIN(D3:L3).

The result was that Conditional Formatting was applied to D3:L3 (the entire row).

1 Answer 1


Sooo close (I think!). Please try:


=min(D3:L3) returns a value but CF needs a TRUE to trigger. So we check "the current cell" (D3) to see whether its value matches that of the minimum in the range D3:L3. If it does we trigger the formatting.

I say "the current cell" because quite which that is depends on the Range: selection. Here it is the same as that from which the minimum value is selected (ie D3:L3). CF has a kind of rastering feature, equivalent to checking whether to trigger the first cell in the Range: (and if TRUE, doing so) then automatically stepping on the E3, F3 cell (and if TRUE, doing so) etc until reaching the end of Range:.

(I have no idea what the actual sequence is but since all done with one click don't see that matters much.)

Without anchors (the $s in $D3:$L3) the minimum range also would auto adjust during the process, so D3 would be tested against D3:L3 but E3 against E3:M3, and so on. (This particular question, where the MIN range and Range: are the same, may not however be the most suitable one for explaining the anchors!)

  • 2
    Wow, that produced exactly the desired result, thank you! Next I'm going to figure out how the first part of the formula (=D3) works. Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 18:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.