I would like Google Sheets to look at a column and highlight a cell red if it contains any of the letters A through M. My current solution is using a Custom Formula that looks like this =or(D4="a",D4="b",D4="c", and so on).

I'm wondering if anyone can think of a way to do it without so many arguments. To somehow specify the range of letters A through M.

  • I recommend phrasing questions more carefully. You wrote "A through M" but then your example has letters a, b, c which are not in the range A-M. Also, "cell contains a letter A-M" could be understood as "the text in the cell contains a letter A-M", which would mean that "Argh" should match. – user79865 Sep 1 '15 at 21:10
  • Hey Norman - thanks. The "or" rule I was using worked for both lower and uppercase letters, so I got a little lazy with my precision of language. Your solution is much appreciated. – Aaron B. Sep 3 '15 at 13:30

I know, I'll use regular expressions.

Conditional formatting (say, applied to the block A1:Z) with custom formula


highlights the cells with a single upper case letter from A to M. Similarly, the formula


matches lowercase a-m, and


matches either case.


  • ^ asserts position at the beginning of the string
  • [...] requires exactly one character from the specified character group
  • $ asserts position at the end of the string

Without ^ and $, the expression would match any string containing at least one character from the specified group.

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