How to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets? [5 easy ways] (2022)

highlight a whole column in Google Sheets
Illustration by Natasha Remarchuk from Ouch!

Wondering how to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets?

Yes, you are at the right place to learn about how to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets.

In Google Sheets, we can use a custom conditional formatting rule to highlight a whole column in a table based on the header field titles.

How to Highlight Whole Columns in Google Sheets with Conditional Formatting?

In Google Sheets, conditional formatting is used to highlight or format cells based on values in it.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets by using the following examples.

How to Highlight Multiple Columns in Google Sheets?

How to Highlight Single Columns in Google Sheets using the Custom Formula?

How to Highlight Multiple Columns in Google Sheets using the Custom Formula?

How to Highlight Matching Text in Columns in Google Sheets?

How to Highlight Columns that Belong to a Particular Range in Google Sheets?

We will discuss each of these in detail below.

How to Highlight Multiple Columns in Google Sheets?

Here, we will highlight multiple columns in a Google Sheet using conditional formatting.

For this, open Google Sheets and select a range from B2:K15.

Provide the header row 2 with alphabetic values A,B,C to J.

select range in Google sheet to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets

Now, we will highlight multiple columns from C2:K15 in this table.

Follow the below steps to highlight the multiple columns in the particular range C2:K15.

Select C2: K15.

Click on “Format” in the navigation menu.

Select “Conditional formatting”

Format in Google sheet to highlight a whole column

Here we can see the “Conditional format rules”.

Tap on “Single color” and fill in the fields.

Conditional Format in Google sheet

Apply the range by “Apply to range“. 

We must select “Is empty” from “Format rules”.

So finally, we got the whole multiple columns from C2:K15 highlighted.

How to Highlight Single Columns in Google Sheets using the Custom Formula?

Custom Formulas are used to apply formatting to one or more cells based on the contents of other cells.

Here, we are going to highlight a particular column based on the header column name.

For this, open Google Sheets and select a range from B2:K19.

Provide the header row 2 with alphabetic values A,B,C to J.

highlight a whole column in Google Sheets using custom formula

Here, we are going to highlight the single column “E” in the above table.

Follow the below steps to highlight single column in Google Sheets using the Custom Formula.

Select B3:K19.

Click on “Format” in the navigation menu.

Select “Conditional formatting”

Here we can see the “Conditional format rules”.

Tap on “Single color” and fill in the fields.

Apply the range by “Apply to range“. 

Here, we select a range from B3:K19.

Then choose the Custom formula is from the Format rules.

Custom formula in google sheet to highlight a whole column

You have to enter a formula within the blank field named “Value of formula” that you can find under Format rules.

So, you want to highlight a single column “E”. For this enter the formula =B$2=”E”.

highlight a whole column in Google Sheets

How to Highlight Multiple Columns in Google Sheets using the Custom Formula?

Assume if you want to highlight multiple columns in Google Sheets using conditional formatting rules.

For this, open Google Sheets and select a range from B2:K19.

Provide the header row 2 with alphabetic values A,B,C, D, E, F, G, H, E and J.

highlight multiple column in Google Sheets

Here, we will highlight all the columns with “E” in them.

Follow the below steps to highlight columns with “E” in them.

Select B3:K19.

Click on “Format” in the navigation menu.

Select “Conditional formatting”

Here we can see the “Conditional format rules”.

Tap on “Single color” and fill in the fields.

Apply the range by “Apply to range“. 

Here, we select a range from B3:K19.

Then choose the Custom formula is from the Format rules.

You have to enter a formula within the blank field named “Value of formula” that you can find under Format rules.

So, you want to highlight a single column “E”. For this enter the formula =B$2=”E”.

conditional formatting to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets

In the above picture, we can see two columns with the same name “E” has been highlighted in Google Sheet.

This type of conditional formatting will highlight the ‘n’ number of columns with the same name using a single formula.

How to Highlight Matching Text in Columns in Google Sheets?

In Google Sheets, we can highlight the whole column which matches a specific digit or text in the header label by using a Match() function as well.

Here, we are going to highlight a particular column based on the header column name using the Match() function.

For this, open Google Sheets and select a range from B2:E15.

Provide the header row 2 with values Book, Pen, Pencil and Scale.

highlight Matching Text in Columns in Google Sheets

Select B2:E15.

Click on “Format” in the navigation menu.

Select “Conditional formatting”

Here we can see the “Conditional format rules”.

Tap on “Single color” and fill in the fields.

Apply the range by “Apply to range“. 

Here, we select a range from B2:E15.

Then choose the Custom formula is from the Format rules.

Enter the given formula within the blank field named “Value of formula” that you can find under Format rules.

Here we choose the column name “Pencil“.

So, we want to highlight all the columns named “Pencil” by entering the match function with the formula.

=match(“Pencil”,B$2:B$15,0)

highlight Columns in Google Sheets using match function

Now you can see from the below image that, column “Pencil has been highlighted by using a simple formula =match(“Pencil”, B$2:B$15,0).

How to Highlight Columns that Belong to a Particular Range in Google Sheets?

In Google Sheets, we can highlight the columns that belong to a particular range using AND() function.

For this, open Google Sheets and select a range from B2:I15.

Provide the header row 2 with numbers from 1 to 8.

Highlight Columns that Belong to a Particular Range in Google Sheets

Follow the below steps to highlight whole columns ranging between 3 and 7 in Google Sheets by using an AND() function.

Select B2:I15.

Click on “Format” in the navigation menu.

Select “Conditional formatting”

Here we can see the “Conditional format rules”.

Tap on “Single color” and fill in the fields.

Apply the range by “Apply to range“. 

Here, we select a range from B2:I15.

Then choose the Custom formula is from the Format rules.

Enter the given formula within the blank field named “Value of formula” that you can find under Format rules.

So, we want to highlight all the columns from 3 to 7 by entering the AND function with the formula

=AND(B$2>=3,B$2<=7)

Highlight Columns  Particular Range in Google Sheets

Now you can see that the whole column ranging between 3 and 7 data are highlighted.

Wrapping Up

Hope you got an idea about how to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets.

In this guide, we have looked at how to highlight a whole column in Google Sheets by using different examples. 

Kindly let us know if you have any queries.