News & tips
Learning to present the data in your spreadsheets clearly is extremely important. Unclear and poorly laid out spreadsheets are much more likely to contain errors.
Excel contains lots of data validation tools but it is better to get your calculations right first time than it is to rely on Excel catching an error. Obviously the larger your spreadsheet is the more important it is to format the spreadsheet clearly. We cover managing larger spreadsheets in our more advanced Excel courses.
To make data easier to view or to define it you may decide to add borders to your Excel spreadsheet. Here is an example of some of our data without any borders:
Firstly we want to add lines around every single cell so:
Make sure that you are on the ‘Home’ tab
Highlight the area you want to apply the borders
This will then look like this:
You can also get these Outlines options by right clicking the data and opening the Dialog Box for Formatting Cells.
If you want to show up that the first row is headings, you should put a thicker line around them. To do this you want to use Thick Outside Borders.
Your spreadsheet will then look like this:
This looks better but still not quite right! To finish it off it needs a thick border around the complete table.
This has now put a thicker border around the whole thing and just to finish it off I’ve made the heading text bold. This is how it will look when printed as well.
If you now want to change the way the interior data looks, you can view our guide on Excel font formatting here.
Cell Borders are a great way to distinguish your data. Good judgement on when to use specific borders will
For more on how you can make your Excel work easier to read, view our comprehensive guide on every way to rename an Excel worksheet here.