In excel 2013, when I use conditional formatting, the font sometimes does not match the background of the cell, which causes this problem: enter image description here

Some numbers are difficult to see if the background gets too dark. The fonts are set to automatic, but that does not help. Given that I won't know which cells will be coloured to that degree on conditional formatting, is there a simple way to match the font white if the cell is too dark automatically? I have many of those in multiple tabs, therefore a solution that can fix the whole spreadsheet would be ideal.

Hopefully it's something simple I'm missing. Thank you in advance :)

1 Answer 1


Based on your image, I assume that the cells are colored based on the numbers. That means you should create another condition formatting rules that will change the font color based on the value of the cells. For example if the font color should change from value from 100 to 230, create a rule as seen on the image below. Click on Format, change the font color to white. Click OK, then OK.


Obviously, you will need to change the values of the rule based on your use case. When complete, this will be the result:


  • Thanks for the suggestion. In my case, that would be very complicated because I have many values that differ and many columns that have different highest numbers. I was after something that would identify when the cell is too dark and apply a correction :/
    – Max Will
    Sep 15, 2020 at 6:45
  • Then you can create rules for each column and adapt for each color as you will have to determine the threshold for darkness of each color. Sep 15, 2020 at 6:52
  • I understand what you mean. I just have too many variations. These values will all change monthly and I would have to redo them all. That's what I mean. I thought some VBA code could help with this or turning on some secret setting that would make my life easier :) I appreciate your help though.
    – Max Will
    Sep 15, 2020 at 7:02
  • @MaxWill Maybe this might help. Sep 15, 2020 at 7:04

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