Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Solution to Error: Conditional formatting and formulas fail to apply consistently

Conditional formatting and formulas fail to apply consistently

I have a sheet with several cells with (more or less) identical conditional formats.

Each of the cells has two different rules.

J10, for instance, has 1 rule that uses a formula comprised of a VBA script to check a value in E13 and determine if it is in a range defined in E4.
If that formula returns FALSE, J10 changes to red text and pink background.

Above that rule in the Rules Manager is a second rule that uses a simple ISNUMBER function to see if E13 is a number.
On a FALSE condition, it sets the cell background to white.

So, if E13 is not a number, the cell is white, and if it is a number, but not in the specified range, it turns red.

So far, so good.

I have 26 cells in various parts of the sheet set up this way.
Some of them work, some of them don't.

During a change in window focus (for instance switching from Excel to IE, or vice versa) the cells format correctly, but then loose their formatting and go back to what they were before the focus shift within a few seconds.

On the same sheet I have a column of numbers (the same ones in column E that I use to check the conditions) that does not update displayed formula results.

For instance, if E12 is "1" and I type "=E12+1" as the formula for E13, it evaluates to 2.
If I subsequently change E12 to "150", E13 still displays "2", but a calculation in J10 updates and evaluates as though E13 is the correct value of 151.

Workbook Calculation is set to Automatic.
If I set it to Manual and check Calculate before saving, and close and save the workbook, when it opens again, all of the values and formats are correct, but any change causes any of the above problems, seemingly

Other workbooks do not have this problem.


I finished making some changes to a (seemingly) unrelated part of the workbook- a macro that reads the values in the cells to compile a string which is sent out through email- and now the first six cells with the conditional formatting (I10, J10, I15,
J15, K15, and L15) all work correctly each time.
The other 20 cells all make the change to red when "bad data" is entered, but then immediately (within a second) go back to no formatting (but they do this consistently.)


When I close the file, I get a dialog box with "Calculation is incomplete.
Recalculate before saving?"

This occurs unless I set the Calculation option to Manual without recalculate on close.

When I open the file with calculation set to manual, any given conditional format is correct for the data in the associated field.
Any attempt to do a recalculate goes back to the issue of the first six cells working, but the other 20 not working.

Keys to the Problem Conditional formatting and formulas fail to apply consistently

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The problem seems to have been the old "too many conditionals."

I fixed the issue by creating formulas to determine a true/false condition that reported to a cell beneath the ones I was formatting, which allowed me to eliminate one condition for each cell and at the same time use a relative reference for multiple cells,
which brought me from 52 conditional statements in the Conditional Format Rules Manager to only two statements total.

This also fixed the display issue with the "simple" calculations in unconnected cells.

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