The contents of a highlighted cell can be formatted in many ways. Font and cell attributes can be added from shortcut buttons on the formatting bar. If this toolbar is not already visible on the screen, select View > Toolbars > Formatting from the menu bar.
Format Cells Dialog Box
For a complete list of formatting options, right-click on the highlighted cells and choose Format Cells from the shortcut menu or select Format > Cells from the menu bar.
- Number tab - The data type can be selected from the options on this tab. Select General if the cell contains text and numbers, or a different numerical category if the cell is a number that will be included in functions or formulas.
- Alignment tab - These options allow you to change the position and alignment of the data within the cell.
- Font tab - All of the font attributes are displayed in this tab including font face, size, style, and effects.
- Border and Pattern tabs - These tabs allow you to add borders, shading, and background colors to a cell.
Dates and Times
If you enter the date "January 1, 2003" into a cell on the worksheet, Excel will automatically recognize the text as a date and change the format to "1-Jan-01". To change the date format, select the Number tab from the Format Cells window. Select "Date" from the Category box and choose the format for the date from the Type box. If the field is a time, select "Time" from the Category box and select the type in the right box. Date and time combinations are also listed. Press OK when finished.
A handy feature on the standard toolbar for formatting text is the Format Painter. If you have formatted a cell with a certain font style, date format, border, and other formatting options, and you want to format another cell or group of cells the same way, place the cursor within the cell containing the formatting you want to copy. Click the Format Painter button in the standard toolbar (notice that your pointer now has a paintbrush beside it). Highlight the cells you want to add the same formatting to.
To copy the formatting to many groups of cells, double-click the Format Painter button. The format painter remains active until you press the
Excel has many preset table formatting options. Add these styles by following these steps:
- Select the cells that will be formatted.
- Select Format > AutoFormat from the menu bar.
- In the AutoFormat dialog box, select the format you want to apply to the table by clicking on it with the mouse. Use the scroll bar to view all of the formats available.
- Click the Options... button to select the elements that the formatting will apply to.
- Click OK when finished.