Note: it’s important that CF formulas be entered relative to the “active cell” in the selection, which is assumed to be B4 in this case. Once you save the rule, you’ll see the dates between 8/1/2015 and 11/1/2015 are highlighted. Note we are including the start and end dates by using greater than or equal to (>=) and less than or equal to (<=)

### Use other cells for input

You don’t need to hard-code the dates into the rule. To make a more flexible rule, you can use other cells like variables in the formula. For example, you can name cell E2 “start” and cell G2 “end”, then rewrite the formula like so: When you change either date, the conditional formatting rule will respond instantly. By using other cells for input, and naming them as named ranges, you make the conditional formatting interactive and the formula is simpler and easier to read.

### Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.