How to Filter for Colors & Icons with VBA Macros in Excel

Bottom line: Learn how to apply color and icon filters with VBA.  Includes examples for filtering for font color, fill color, and conditional formatting icons.
Skill level: Intermediate

VBA AutoFilter Automate Date Filters

Download the File

The Excel file that contains the code can be downloaded below.  This file contains code for filtering different data types and filter types.  Please see my article on The Ultimate Guide to AutoFilters in VBA for more details.

VBA AutoFilters Guide.xlsm (100.5 KB)

Color & Icon Filters in Excel

Filters for font and fill colors were introduced in Excel 2010.  This allows us to quickly filter columns based on cell formatting that can be applied manually or by conditional formatting.

The Filter by Color menu appears when a column contains any font or fill colors.  It also appears when the column contains icons created by conditional formatting.  We can use VBA to apply these filters as well.

Let's take a look at some code examples for the different color filters.

Color & Icon Filters in VBA

Sub AutoFilter_Color_Icon_Examples()
'Examples for filtering columns with COLORS and ICONS
Dim lo As ListObject
Dim iCol As Long

  'Set reference to the first Table on the sheet
  Set lo = Sheet1.ListObjects(1)
  'Set filter field
  iCol = lo.ListColumns("Product").Index
  'Clear Filters
  With lo.Range

    'Font and fill colors are set in Criteria 1.
    'The macro recorder gives us the RGB value.  RGB can also
    'be found in the More Colors menu on the Custom tab.
    'Cell Fill Color for dark red
    .AutoFilter Field:=iCol, _
                Criteria1:=RGB(192, 0, 0), _
    'Font Color for dark green
    .AutoFilter Field:=iCol, _
                Criteria1:=RGB(0, 97, 0), _
    'Set filter field
    iCol = lo.ListColumns("Icon").Index
    'Clear Filters
    'Icon (conditional formatting)
    .AutoFilter Field:=iCol, _
                Criteria1:=ThisWorkbook.IconSets(xl4CRV).Item(4), _
    End With
End Sub

Filters & Data Types

The filter drop-down menu options change based on what type of data is in the column.   We have different filters for text, numbers, dates, and colors.  This creates A LOT of different combinations of Operators and Criteria for each type of filter.

I created separate posts for each of these filter types.  The posts contain explanations and VBA code examples.

The file in the downloads section above contains all of these code samples in one place.  You can add it to your Personal Macro Workbook and use the macros in your projects.

Please leave a comment below with any questions or suggestions.  Thanks! 🙂

Please share
Jon Acampora

Welcome to Excel Campus! I am excited you are here. My name is Jon and my goal is to help you learn Excel to save time with your job and advance in your career. I've been an avid Excel user and VBA developer for 10+ years. I am also a Microsoft MVP. I try to learn something new everyday, and want to share this knowledge with you to help you improve your skills. When I'm not looking at spreadsheets, I get outdoors and surf. :) more about me

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
sandeep - November 1, 2018

Dear Jon, This is coding par excellence!

Pooja - October 4, 2018

Dear Respected Jon

Thank you so much for sharing/ teaching this work .. It was extremely useful. Please see if you can add a video tutorial for the same task ..


Leave a Reply: