Mainly CELL Color **A1** (reference) is an **info_type** operation of the **CELL** function. In this article, we discuss the CELL color reference option and its uses in Excel.

## What is the Cell Color A1(Reference)?

To know about the CELL COLOR **A1** you need to know The **CELL** function first. This function returns information about the cell. The syntax of the **CELL** function is

`CELL(info_type, [reference])`

Argument | Required/Optional | Explanation |
---|---|---|

info_type |
Required |
A text value out of 12 different values that specify what type of cell info you want |

reference |
Optional |
A particular cell that you want the info about. If [reference] is provided, the function will return info_type of the then selected cell or active cell in case of a range. |

12 types of info about a particular cell. And cell “Color” is one of them. The **info_type** has to enter with a double quotation (“ “) mark in the **CELL** function.

“color”: Returns 1 if the cell is formatted in color for **Negative values**,

Returns 0 (zero) otherwise.

While using the** “**color**” **type you can use the cell reference, which can be **A1**. So, the formula outlook will be something like

`=CELL("color",A1)`

And while using the formula in Excel without color formatting a negative value in cell **A1**, the output will be similar as shown in the following screenshot.

On the other hand, if the value gets color formatted with negative numbers the formula returns **1** as shown in the following image.

As we emphasize a particular **CELL** function; “Color” **info_type**, we’ll discuss and demonstrate examples only regarding that **info_type** in this article.

## Uses of CELL Color A1 in Excel: 3 Examples

### Example 1: Fetching Cell Color Info

From the **CELL** function arguments, we know that “Color” is one of the **info_type** arguments of the **CELL** function. We can use CELL Color **A1** (reference) to fetch info regarding color formatting cells.

The formula ** =CELL("color",[reference]) **returns 1 if the

**[reference]**cell is color formatted for negative value otherwise 0.

Let’s say we have some color-formatted entries in cells as shown in the following picture.

Now, we want to check which one is color formatted for a negative value. To do so, follow the below sequences,

➤ Write **=CELL( **in the Formula Bar then multiple (12 to be exact) **info_type **arguments appear.

Select Color.

➤ Type the** [reference] **(i.e., **A2**, we could use **A1** if we didn’t use a table header) following a comma (,) as shown in the below formula.

`=CELL("color",A2)`

➤ Hit** ENTER** and then Drag the **Fill Handle** to bring out the cell info.

Only the **A6** (i.e., 100) cell is color formatted with a negative value that’s why the formula results in 1.

You can test the formula for any color-formatted negative values and it always returns 1.

### Example 2: Showing Pre-set Text Depending on Values

As we know from our earlier discussion that **CELL “color” A1** (reference) is a portion of the **CELL** function, we can display a pre-set text to show a certain criterion.

In the following dataset, we have Product Sales of two months (**Nov’21 and Dec’21**) and we calculate the **Sale Deficit of Dec’21** in respective of Nov’21. We color-formatted the deficit values that are less than Nov’21 sale amount, we have done this using Conditional Formatting.

Now, we want to display “Positive” or “Negative” text for positive or negative deficit respectively for each cell.

To ** =CELL("color", [reference])** formula work, we have to color format the negative value with Number Category Negative numbers type.

➤ Paste the below formula in any adjacent cell (i.e., **H5**).

`=IF(CELL("color",F5),"Negative","Positive")`

➤ Press **ENTER** then Drag the **Fill Handle** to pre-set texts to appear as shown in the following screenshot.

You see the formula returns **1** for those cells that have color-formatted negative values.

Here, we have used other cells for our example demonstration, so we hardly used CELL Color **A1**, but things will be the same for that as well.

### Example 3: Direct Used in Formula

The **CELL** function’s “color” argument can be used in formulas directly. We can use it to display required strings depending on the condition.

Using a dataset we want to display a text string YES or NO depending on the quantity (i.e., Negative Deficit) of a certain product.

➤ Paste the following formula in any blank cell (i.e., **C3**).

`=IF(CELL("color",INDEX(B8:F15,MATCH(C2,C8:C15,0),5)),"YES","NO")`

Inside the formula,

**The MATCH function** matches the cell reference **C2** to range **C8:C15** and returns the value as **row_num**.

After that, **the INDEX function** matches the **row_num** and **col_num** (i.e., we input 5).

Then the **CELL** function identifies whether the particular cell has a color-formatted negative value or not.

In the end, **the IF function** displays YES or NO depending on no color formatted or color formatted.

** **➤ Hit **ENTER**, you’ll see YES or NO string depending on color formatted negative value similar to the following screenshot.

We Color Formatted values whenever the difference between two months’ sales (Dec’21-Nov’21) results in negative.

## ⧭ Keep in Mind: Color Formatting

If you apply formatting with whatever the color for negative values then apply the ** =CELL("color",[reference])** formula, we’ll end up something like the below image

You see though we color formatted the negative value the formula doesn’t show 1 as it should be.

To solve this issue, follow the following sequence

➤ Click on the **Icon** (shown in the screenshot) in the **Home** Tab **Font** section > **Format Cells** window appears, Select **Number** (in the **Category** option) > Choose the 2nd option under **Negative numbers** (shown in the screenshot).

Click **OK**.

➤ In the worksheet, Apply the formula again by pressing **ENTER**, you’ll see 1 as the return value as supposed to.

You have to color format the negative values unless the formula doesn’t show results as you expected.

**Download Excel Workbook**

## Conclusion

In this article, we discuss and demonstrate a portion of the **CELL** function. CELL Color **A1** is one of the arguments of the **CELL** function and is useful in the case of fetching cell info. Hope the above-described examples of CELL Color **A1** motivate you to use it more efficiently. If you have further queries or feedback, please let me know in the comment section.

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