How To Highlight in Excel

[ad]Dear Computer Lady,

I’m working on a list in Microsoft Excel. I need to
highlight certain lines with either yellow or purple, but still leave the text black.

When I highlight the line and chose yellow or purple, it
changes the text to either yellow or purple.

Please help!!! Sylvia

Dear Sylvia,

It sounds like you are changing the text color, when what you really need to change is the background color of the cell that the text is in.

Here is how to do that in Excel.

1. Open your Excel list.

2. Click on the cell that you need to highlight. Don’t select the text in the cell because that will only allow you to change the color of the text, and what you want is to change the background color of the cell that the text is in.

3. Once you have selected the cell, you will see an icon with a little bucket of paint right next to the tool for changing the text color. Click on that bucket icon and select the color you want to highlight the cell with.

Your cell will now have the background color that you have chosen, and your text will still be black.


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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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    • gmawathome
    • September 8, 2012

    Use fill color instead of using the highlighting color. This changes only the cell color not the text color.

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