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Conditional Format: Ignore Blank Cells


Excel 2004 for Mac

I'd like to give a conditional format to a range of cells so that only one cell in the range has a gray background. The condition must include three criteria:
1) The cell cannot be blank, AND
2) The cell's value must be the minimum in the range, AND
3) The cell's value must not equal any value preceding it in the range.

My own attempt looks like this for cell J8 in the range C8:AF8:
=AND(NOT(ISBLANK(J8)),J8=MIN($C8:$AF8),J8$C8:I8)

Problem: This condition works great for all values entered EXCEPT ZERO. When J8 is the first zero in the range, if it is preceded by a blank cell anywhere else in the range, it fails the third criterion (J8$C8:I8) because Excel treats the blank cell as though it's a zero. Result: no gray background.

How can I get Excel to "ignore" blank cells.


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