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I'm a big fan of Excel's conditional formatting, and often use it to highlight cells on a worksheet.It's also useful for alerting people to problems, and other devious plots, like hiding cells' contents, until other cells are filled correctly.But this week I ran into a conditional formatting crisis, and had to start from scratch.Fortunately, the fix didn't take too long, but with complex formatting, things could have been much worse.

So, to save typing time, I copy and paste the headings from the day before.For example, in the screen shot above, I could copy the regions and products headings from B2: C4, and paste them into cell B10: C12, for the latest day's data.The Excel table automatically expands to include the new rows, and fills in the formulas in column F. And that copy and paste trick is what I've been doing every day, for months on end.Suddenly, this week, I started having trouble with the red border between dates – it wasn't going across the full table.So, I went into the Conditional Formatting Manager, to fix the problem.But, instead of one simple rule, there were hundreds of rules!You can see the tiny scroll box at the bottom right in the screen shot below.That should give you some idea of how long that list was.Every time that I copied and pasted within the conditional formatting range, it created another rule for the worksheet. Let's take a look at the smaller example, where I just copied and pasted the Region and Product headings.Now, it has two rules, instead of one, after one copy and paste within the table.UPDATE - March 2017: I've found a quicker way to fix the problem, as you can see in this video.

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