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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