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Excel Formatting Tips
Format worksheet cells to make text or fill color stand out. Create a color spectrum across a range of cells. Show color palettes near cells
Open the Format Cells with the keyboard or mouse, to change any of the formatting options for the selected cells
The Format Cells dialog box opens, and you can click any of the tabs, to change the formatting options for the selected cells.
To show an electromagnetic spectrum in a range of 6 cells, you can use a 2-color gradient fill in each cell.
Thanks to Robert Lepper, for sharing this tip. He used this technique to help with a homework assignment.
To show a color spectrum, like the one above, each cell is filled with a 2-color gradient. Each adjacent cell starts with the finishing color of the cell to the left.
If you're trying to select a custom colour, the colour palette that opens is very small, and it's hard to click on the colour you need.
Use this quick trick to make the job easier. When the palette opens, double-click the title bar, at the top of the palette window.
The colour palette will automatically expand in size, to fill the entire screen.
This very short video shows that trick.
While working on a worksheet, you might want to change a cell's fill color or font colour, or add borders. To do that, you can use the fill, font, and border commands on the toolbar.
If you have lots of formatting to do, it will be easier if the palettes are closer to the area where you're working.
In Excel 2007 and later, right-click on the cell that you want to format, to see the popup menu. A mini toolbar also appears, with several formatting options, including fill, font and borders.
If the mini toolbar does not appear, go into Excel Options, in the General category, and add a check mark to "Show Mini Toolbar on selection".
In Excel 2003 and earlier, you can detach the formatting palettes from the toolbar, and move them onto the worksheet. This video shows the steps, and the written instructions are below the video.
To move one of the “tear away” palettes (Font Color, Fill Color, Borders):
When you've finished working with the palette, click the X at its top right, to close it.
Get the sample formatting workbook. The zipped file is in xlsx format, and does not contain macros.
FAQs, Worksheet Functions and Formats
Conditional Formatting - Basics
Last updated: November 2, 2022 3:41 PM