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In Excel, formatting worksheet (or sheet) data is easier than ever. You can use several fast and simple ways to create professional-looking worksheets that display your data effectively. For example, you can use document themes for a uniform look throughout all of your Excel spreadsheets, styles to apply predefined formats, and other manual formatting features to highlight important data.

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A document theme is a predefined set of colors, fonts, and effects (such as line styles and fill effects) that will be available when you format your worksheet data or other items, such as tables, PivotTables, or charts. For a uniform and professional look, a document theme can be applied to all of your Excel workbooks and other Office release documents.

Your company may provide a corporate document theme that you can use, or you can choose from a variety of predefined document themes that are available in Excel. If needed, you can also create your own document theme by changing any or all of the theme colors, fonts, or effects that a document theme is based on.

Before you format the data on your worksheet, you may want to apply the document theme that you want to use, so that the formatting that you apply to your worksheet data can use the colors, fonts, and effects that are determined by that document theme.

For information on how to work with document themes, see Apply or customize a document theme.


A style is a predefined, often theme-based format that you can apply to change the look of data, tables, charts, PivotTables, shapes, or diagrams. If predefined styles don"t meet your needs, you can customize a style. For charts, you can customize a chart style and save it as a chart template that you can use again.

Depending on the data that you want to format, you can use the following styles in Excel:


To make specific data (such as text or numbers) stand out, you can format the data manually. Manual formatting is not based on the document theme of your workbook unless you choose a theme font or use theme colors — manual formatting stays the same when you change the document theme. You can manually format all of the data in a cell or range at the same time, but you can also use this method to format individual characters.

For information on how to format data manually, see Format text in cells.


To distinguish between different types of information on a worksheet and to make a worksheet easier to scan, you can add borders around cells or ranges. For enhanced visibility and to draw attention to specific data, you can also shade the cells with a solid background color or a specific color pattern.

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If you want to add a colorful background to all of your worksheet data, you can also use a picture as a sheet background. However, a sheet background cannot be printed — a background only enhances the onscreen display of your worksheet.

For information on how to use borders and colors, see:

Apply or remove cell borders on a worksheet

Apply or remove cell shading

Add or remove a sheet background


For the optimal display of the data on your worksheet, you may want to reposition the text within a cell. You can change the alignment of the cell contents, use indentation for better spacing, or display the data at a different angle by rotating it.

Rotating data is especially useful when column headings are wider than the data in the column. Instead of creating unnecessarily wide columns or abbreviated labels, you can rotate the column heading text.

For information on how to change the alignment or orientation of data, see Reposition the data in a cell.


If you have already formatted some cells on a worksheet the way that you want, there are several ways to copy just those formats to other cells or ranges.

Clipboard commands

Home > Paste Paste Special > Paste Formatting.

Home > Format Painter

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Right click command


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Point your mouse at the edge of selected cells until the pointer changes to a crosshair.

Right click and hold, drag the selection to a range, and then release.

Select Copy Here as Formats Only.

Tip If you"re using a single-button mouse or trackpad on a Mac, use Control+Click instead of right click.

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Range Extension

Data range formats are automatically extended to additional rows when you enter rows at the end of a data range that you have already formatted, and the formats appear in at least three of five preceding rows. The option to extend data range formats and formulas is on by default, but you can turn it on or off by:

Newer versions Selecting File > Options > Advanced > Extend date range and formulas (under Editing options). 

Excel 2007 Selecting les-grizzlys-catalans.org Office Button

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> Excel Options > Advanced > Extend date range and formulas (under Editing options)).