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This should be the simplest example of conditional formatting but I can't figure it out. I havave two columns seperated by several dozen other columns ('C'-original data, 'BO'- calculated value) and I need to highlight the calculated value if it is not equal to the original value. I can do this on a cell by cell basis but can't see how to apply it to a whole column withoug adding a rule for every row (there are many 1000s of rows).

What am I missing?

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You want to highlight values which are unequal to each other or those which are equal to each other? Your title and question body seem to be contradicting :S –  Jerry Aug 27 '13 at 5:19

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I tend to use an IF() rule for this sort of thing. The trick is then to get the '$' signs right. If column C is the original data and BO is the calculated value, then select the BO column and add a conditional formatting formula rule of:

=IF($C2=$BO2,1,0)

Note there is no $ sign beside the row number, which causes it to apply to each row in turn.

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