Formatting Cells


First of all, you can apply common character- and paragraph-level changes. Look at the table below. Let's say that we want to give most of the cells center alignment.

One way to do that would be to select the cells we want to change, and then simply click on the "center" and "bottom" align buttons in the Home tab.

In this way, you can use the Home tab to create any character effects (font, font size, font color, etc.) or paragraph formatting (alignment).

To do center alignment, however, you could also "Format Cells." In the Home tab:

Go to the "Cells" section and click on "Format." At the bottom of the menu, select "Format Cells...". Alternately, you can use the much easier keyboard shortcut, Control + 1.

At the top of the dialog box, click on the Alignment tab. Below and to the left, notice the Text Alignment area. You can set text alignment in a cell this way as well.

Notice the part on the right which says "Orientation." We'll do that next.

Formatting cells in Excel is very similar to formatting cells in tables in Word. In addition to formatting the text, you can also apply borders, shading, and other effects to make your cells look like a well-formatted table.


Next, go to the "Format Cells..." dialog box again, and change the orientations as shown below:

You'll see that the titles now read diagonally.

Now, just change the width of the columns as we learned earlier:

A special note: when cells have such a changed orientation, the text may "stick out" the side a little. You must keep in mind that even if the text sticks out, cell selection is about choosing the original cells space, and not the places where the text or the slanted cell areas appear. This is true any time you select a cell with overflow text.


Let's add borders to the cells with information in them. Notice that the cell B2 has no information. How can we select all the other cells, but not that one? Here's how:

  1. select C2 to G2
  2. hold down the control key, and
  3. select B3 to G6, then let go of the control key

Your selection should look like this:

Next, open the FORMAT: Cells... dialog box, and select the "Border" tab. As shown in the image below, click on the thick line (1) and then click on the "Outline" box (2); then click on the thin line (3) and then click on the "Inside" box (4). Then click "OK."

The cells should now look like this:

Next, let's add some color.


To add color shading to cells, first select the cells you want to color. Then, on the Home tab, in the "Font" section, click on the Fill Color button to give a shading.

Remember to select the slanted cells correctly! If the coloring appears in the wrong places, undo the coloring, select the cells again, and try once more.

Repeat these steps as many times as you need to create the desired coloring. The end result should look something like this:

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