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Change the format of a cell

You can apply formatting to an entire cell and to the data inside a cell—or a group of cells. One way to think of this is the cells are the frame of a picture and the picture inside the frame is the data. Formatting the cell might include adding a border, adding color or shading, and changing the size or style of the cell.

Predefined styles

Excel contains many predefined cell styles that you can use. These styles let you make several formatting changes to cells at once. For example, you can add a fill color and change the color of text at the same time.

Follow these steps to apply predefined styles:

  1. Select the cells you want to format.

  2. Click Home > Cell Styles, and then choose the style you want.


Cell Style options

Custom style

If you don’t prefer to use a predefined style—or want to apply more specific formatting (such as a specific color) to your cells, you can right-click over the cell(s) you want to format and choose from the formatting options.

For example, to add borders and a fill color, do the following:

  1. Select the cells you want to format and right-click.

  2. To add borders to your cells, click the down arrow next to the Border button, and pick the borders you want.

    Right-click to add a border to cells

  3. To fill your cells with color, click the down arrow next to the Fill Color button, and choose the fill color you want.

    Right-click to add a fill clor to cells

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

See Also

Format text in cells

Format numbers

Format a date the way you want

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