I'm trying to color format cells in an Excel 2013 worksheet. I'm particularly interested in highlighting cells with names values that occur more than 2 times (i.e. triplicate names) in the same column. But, I have to highlight only the third repeated cell and ones after it. I have tried many VBA scripts I found elsewhere, but as I not an Excel expert, I was not succesful until now. Anyone could help on this?

Please check this screenshot here (https://imgur.com/a/CmXoD) of the spreadsheet which shows the formula I'm trying now after some suggestions.

Thank you in advance for helping.

  • conditional formatting generally doesn't require VBA, why not just looking to Excel conditional formatting functionality? Mar 27, 2018 at 13:38

1 Answer 1


You can do it without macro:

  • Select your data you want to format
  • go to home - conditional formatting - new rule
  • select "use a formula to determine which cell to format"
  • enter formula =COUNTIF($A$1:A2,A2)>2, of course you need to update cell references:
    • $A$1 is the cell above your range
    • A2 is the first (and active!!) cell of range to be formatted
  • click "format" and select highlight format

enter image description here

  • Keep in mind that this will color every repetition after the third one, just in case you don't want this.
    – arana
    Mar 27, 2018 at 14:55
  • 1
    That's fairly obvious from the picture, isn't it? If OP wants only the third occurrence highlighted, he can replace ">2" in the formula with "=3". Mar 27, 2018 at 16:05
  • First of all, Thank you guys for helping. But, the suggested formula '=COUNTIF($A$1:A2,A2)>2' is not working. Excel shows me an error message (something is missing or wrong with the formula). To avoid the error message I have used a semicolon instead of a colon in the function and now the error message is gone. The case here is that it still not highlighting the names (Please, check screenshot here: imgur.com/a/zGEti). Will the COUNTIF function work for names or only numbers? Mar 27, 2018 at 19:13
  • yes, depending on your regional settings you may need to use ; instead of ,. Please post a screenshot where formula is visible too. Please don't post it in a comment, but update your question. Yes, COUNTIF works with text too. Mar 27, 2018 at 19:24

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