I have a several large Excel tables that I am managing for my current project. Whenever a metric or value in the table changes, I indicate the change by changing the background color of the cell for the first version that it appears in.

When I go in to create a new version, I normally use the Find&Replace functionality to change all the colored cells back to their default "No-Background" setting.

Lately I've started adding the middle shade of purple to some of the cells (Purple, Accent 4, Lighter 40%) and have noticed that when I come back later on to clear those cells, I can't find them with the Find&Replace tool. They are still clearly visible and the "Filter by Cell Color" filter option will pick them up, but the Search function skips right over them. What makes it even more strange is that it's just this one color, I can still find every other color just fine. Also, if I change the background of one of these purple cells and then change it right back I can then Find&Replace like always.


  • Are you using any search criteria other than the fill color? – SenorButtons May 5 '14 at 14:51
  • Nope, thought of that and checked that. – BenW301 May 5 '14 at 15:20
  • Have you tried using the "Choose Format From Cell..." option to populate the search format? It is in the drop-down menu next to the Format button on the Replace tab. – SenorButtons May 5 '14 at 15:47
  • Are you able to try it in a newer version of Excel? I was able to search for and replace cells containing that same fill color in Excel 2013. – SenorButtons May 5 '14 at 15:49
  • Sounds like you might need to repair excel. – Raystafarian May 5 '14 at 18:11

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