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Sometimes you want to apply styles that don't exist as part of Excel's built-in style. So you can create your own. The easiest way to create your own style is to apply the formatting first just as though you're doing regular formatting and then use those cells as the example to define the style. What makes it so useful is that if you change some of the characteristics of the style like color, font, or fill or border, every cell that is tagged with that style will immediately change. So that keeps your formatting consistent and it also lets you format faster.
Well, let's take a look here. We are sorted by department. Let's select the Graphics department here. It doesn't have any formatting yet, and let's change the color. So click the Color dropdown, and I will choose a green here keeping with our Olive theme, and choose a color and I'll choose white, so we have a reverse look, and let's change the font face. Let's click that and keep in mind the fonts that you have in your computer might be somewhat different from the fonts that are on this computer. I like Comic Sans, okay and just deselect so you can see it.
Well, now we can use any one of these cells we just formatted as the example to create the style. So select any one of them, and you want to be on the Home tab and then in Styles group, click on Cell Styles and down here towards the bottom, choose New Cell Style. Well, let's give it a name, and maybe let's call this Department. Here are all the characteristics of the style. Well, we're going to use this for text and not for number, so you might want to remove number, so there's no number formatting as part of the style.
The others you can leave. Click OK. Now, we use that as an example but we still haven't had these particular cells with that style. So let's do that now. Select those cells again, go back to Cell Styles, and you see in Custom now we have a style called Department. So select it and scroll down. Maybe let's select Marketing, go back to Cell Styles, choose Department and there it is. Okay, that's great but what happens if later on we decide we want to make some formatting change? Maybe we want to change the color, maybe we want to change the font.
Select any one of those cells formatted with the Department style. Click back again on Cell Styles. Now here is the style we created, right-click it, and from the pop-up menu choose Modify. We're in the Style dialog box, click the Format button, and now we're in the Format Cells dialog box. So let's start with the font. Click on the Font tab. Now the font is white in color so it's kind of hard to see, so let's click this drop-down and choose a color. Maybe I will choose shade of blue there, and let's change the font face, and you could choose any one. I kind of like Cambria, and let's change the fill, and I will make this a lighter green, click OK, click OK and boom! They all changed at once.
That's really the power of styles, making one little change and then all the cells changed that have that style applied. You don't have to go and hunt them down. Now, when you're looking at the styles, it's not always obvious what style a cell is formatted with. So for example, I am going to scroll up here. Let's say Executive. Click on one of these Executive cells. Well, what style is applied? Click on the Cell Styles drop- down and well, this is kind of overwhelming, isn't it? You kind of have to hunt around. Well, if you look closely here this 40% Accent1 is kind of highlighted, so we know what style is applied there.
Just hit the Escape once or twice, maybe click on Finances, try that again, go up to Cell Styles, and again this is kind of overwhelming. You'd really have to look to see that it's 40% - Accent6. Let's hit your Escape key a couple of times. Here is a much easier way, and it involves a kind of weird shortcut. Press Alt+Apostrophe, or if you want to think of it as Alt+Single Quotation Mark. That goes right into the Style dialog box and now you can see the name. That's grayed out, you can't change it, but you can certainly read it, can't you? Let me cancel out here, click on one of these Wage cells, and again press Alt+Apostrophe, and now you can see that.
Oh yes, it's 40%-Accent3. Maybe click on this style that we created, press Alt+Apostrophe, and you can see it's Department. Now here because it's custom style, we actually can go and modify it. We're not going to change this right here, so you can cancel out. Now one other thing. What if you want to use these styles that you created in another workbook? Well here's what we do. First of all, leave this workbook open. That's a necessity, and go to your File > Open dialog box. I will just press Ctrl+L and in the Exercise Files, Chapter 5 folder, we have a file here called merge styles.
Double-click that, and here we have this list sorted by Parking Lot. Maybe we want to format Parking Lot A, Parking Lot B, Parking Lot C with some of these styles. Now, I'll select all the Parking Lot A. When you go up to Cell Styles, you see there's no custom style there. So what you do is down at bottom, choose Merge Styles. This is why you had to leave that other file open, because you can only merge styles from other Excel workbooks that are currently open. So there's not much of a choice here, so just double-click Custom Styles, and it doesn't ask you any questions. It just doesn't.
So now when we go up here to Cell Styles, we can see the custom styles, choose Department, and there it is. It's formatted. One other thing to keep in mind. If you go back to that original workbook where you created the styles and you modify that style again, you'll have to go and re-import it here if you want the styles to be consistent from one workbook to another. When you merge styles, there's no dynamic link there.
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