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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you save data in Excel, you are usually more concerned with the numbers than how they look in the worksheet. Even so, you can still change the appearance of your data and other worksheet values to make them easier to understand. In this movie, I'll show you how to change the appearance of your text, cell backgrounds, and cell borders. If you want to change the appearance of text in your worksheet, all you need to do is select the cell that contains the text you want to change. In this case, I will work with the Monthly Revenue text in cell A1, and you can use the Controls on the Home tab of the Ribbon in the font group to change its appearance.
So, for example, if I wanted to change the font size - it's currently 12, as you see here - if I click the Font Size down arrow, I can change it to 18. And I can do other things, like changing the actual font or typeface that is used to display that data. So if I click the cell and then I click the Font list box's down arrow, I can select another font, and I will just stay here at the top and select Cambria, which is a font that Microsoft created. It's used for headings. So that's changed, so that's how you change the font and the font size.
If you want to change the font size up or down, and you're not sure which specific value you want, you can click the increase size or decrease size buttons. So, for example, with A1 still selected, if I click the increase button, the font size will increase; if I click to decrease, it will go down. So what are some other things that you can do to modify your font's appearance? Well, you can change its formatting by either displaying it in bold face, displaying it in italic, or displaying it underlined, and of course you can combine those if you want and do all three.
Clicking the Underline, Italic or Bold toolbar button or if you prefer to use the keyboard, you can bold by pressing Command+B, make it italic by pressing Command+I and underline by pressing Command+U. Pressing those keys again Command+U, Command+I and Command+B removes whatever formatting you had before. So pressing those keys changes between applied and not applied. One other way that you can change the formatting of text in a cell, or value in a cell, is to change the color of the font.
To do that, you can go here to the Font Color button. If you want to apply the existing color, or the most recently selected color, you can just click the button, which in this case changes it to red. Or if you want to select another color, you can click the Font Colors down arrow and select a color from anywhere in the color palette. Colors in Excel are divided into two sets: theme colors which change depending upon the theme that you have applied to your worksheet, or standard colors which don't change. I will talk about Office themes later in this chapter.
So for now I'm just going to apply another standard color, and let's say I will just change it to blue. Now why would you change the formatting of text in a cell? Well, you can do it to make it stand out. For example, Monthly Revenue is the worksheet header so I've made it larger, I have turned it blue so it stands apart from the other text, and in fact if I wanted to make a stand out even more I could press Command+B to make the text bold. If I wanted to create other headers, for example here, for my years and my months, then I could select these two cells, and what I'm doing is I am clicking cell C2, holding down the Command key, and clicking cell B3 - that we both of those cells were selected - and now I can make a bold. And if I wanted to make these other headers stand apart from the data underneath them I can select them, again, holding down the Command key, so I can separate two nonadjacent regions, and then make those values italic.
One other way that you can change the formatting of a cell to make it stand apart is to change its background color. To do that, I will select the cells from here for the upper part of my border or the headers around the data, and then I will select these cells as well, holding down the Command key, and I will click for Fill Color button to select a fill color. Although in this case I don't want yellow, so I won't click the button itself. I will click the down arrow, and I will select a theme color, and I will select something in the blue range, something nice and pale so it won't get in the way of the data.
There we are. So now I filled those cells, and they stand apart from the Monthly Revenue header and also from the data in the body of the table. The last thing I would like to show you in this movie is how to add a border around cells. You can add a border around an individual cell by selecting that single cell and then clicking in the border button, and you can apply all sorts of borders, you know, just play around with these, and you will get use to them. You have outside borders, all borders - actually, I will show you what those two look like. So I will click the button again to release the selection, and I will select this data here, this group of data.
If I select the outside border and click away, you will see that now I have a border around the cells but not the interior of the cells. If I select them again and click All Borders, you'll see that Excel applied the borders to each of the individual cells. I prefer to use an outside border rather than all of the interior borders, so I will clear these by clicking the Borders button and then clicking No Border. I cleared the selection. You don't have to, but I just did it as a matter of habit, and then I will click the Border button again and click outside borders.
So now I have that single border around the outside of the selection. Now let's say that I want to surround the entire data table with a thicker border. To do that, I will select all of the cells, and then I will click the Border button and click Thick Box Border. It's all the way at the bottom. When I do that, Excel retains the interior border that it had applied before, but along the exterior of the entire selection which includes the cells I'd worked with before, now instead of this thinner border, we have a thicker border.
Changing the appearance of your worksheet's contents can make it easier to read and understand. Don't go overboard though; you will often find that a little formatting goes a long way.
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