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Excel/Assistance with Conditional Formatting for showing the critical path



I have the following sheet (see drawing) where in:
Column B describe the activities/task
Column C describe the duration of the task
Column D-E-F describe the path, for example:

Path 1 includes the tasks: 1-2-3 and 9
Path 2 includes the tasks: 1-2-4-9
Path 3 includes the task: 1-2-5-6-7-8-9

In cell D2 I have inserted the formula which I use in cell D3 (=SUMPRODUCT(D5:D13,$C$5:$C$13))
I did this also for cell E2 and F2

In cell H3 I use the formula =MAX(D3:F3) to determine the longest path (In this case: path 3)

What I want:
Based on the longest path (path 3), I want that the cells in column A should fill “red” of the tasks which are on the longest path. In this case, the cells A5 (task 1 in cell B), A6 (task 2), A9 (task 5), A10 (task 6), etc

I am trying with the IF function, but no success so far.

Thanks in advantage
Best regards

In cell H3 enter

=MATCH(H2,D2:F2) + 2

Select A5:A13.

From Excel menu, choose Home, Conditional Formatting, New Rule, Use a formula to determine which cells to format, Format values where this formula is true:


Format, Fill, [red], OK, OK
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Stuart Resnick


I can answer questions relating to MS Excel formulas, or to programming with vba (Visual Basic for Applications) in the Excel environment. Please follow the following guidelines: your question should focus on one specific issue you want to learn. It's beyond the scope of this free service for me to create entire projects or complex vba solutions for you from scratch. You should be able to do most of the work yourself, and come here when you need help with a specific point you're stuck on. ALWAYS include a simple, concrete example illustrating what you want to learn. Explain this example in detail in the text of your question (what data is in which cells of which sheets, etc). Be very precise about the results you want, using this sample to make the logic clear. Always keep these examples SIMPLE. Never e.g. use 18 worksheets in your example if using 2 or 3 will do. Never use ranges like AI567:BB865 if using a range like A1:B3 will do. Thanks.


As a consultant, I've designed Excel tools since the 90s, working for the Federal Reserve Bank, AT&T, and (currently) Gap Inc.

My only "education" comes from 2 decades of doing spreadsheet/programming work, with major SF Bay Area corporations such as AT&T, Federal Reserve Bank, and Gap Inc.

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