Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
These chapters are going to explore the basic formatting options that are available in Microsoft Excel. For you seasoned users of Excel, it'll introduce you to where you will find the commands in the ribbon, and for you brand-new users to Excel, it'll identify some of the options that you can use when you want to format your tables and data in Excel, to make it the most professional looking that it can be. We're going to do this by using our EatCake Sales Forecast table that you're now very familiar with. So let's go open it now. Scroll over to the Microsoft Office button in the top left hand corner and click once. This gives you the commands that you have available to you. By selecting the Open command, it'll present you with your Exercise Files.
We're looking in 04 Basic Formatting folder, for the EatCake Sales Forecast option. Highlight it, and click the Open option. And now we've got it open in Microsoft Excel. This is a really nice looking table because the formatting has already been done on it. But when you're first working in Excel, it doesn't necessarily start off like this. I'm going to decrease the size of column D and column E, just to show you what might happen when you're working with the Microsoft Excel environment before you've done your formatting. As I mouse up to the top, outside of my grid, but into my column identifiers, you'll notice that my mouse has changed from a plus sign up to a downward pointing arrow.
I also want to move it over to the right a slight bit, and you'll notice now it's changed into crosshairs. As soon as I see a crosshair icon, I know I can now manipulate the size of the column. I'm going to decrease the size of this column by right-clicking on the mouse and sliding it over to the left. So I'm clicking and dragging here. And what happens to the information that's in my column here. It cuts off, or truncates the information, I don't see all of restaurants any longer, I'm losing the t and the s. If I go up to my formula bar up here, you'll see that the whole information is still contained in the cell but the information isn't displayed on my spreadsheet. What happens if my information is numeric, what happens then? I simply-- by decreasing the size of that column.
Now see that they get a bunch of numbers--so it's in there. So when you have a cell that's too small, and it's containing numbers, you will see number signs inside it. Even though as I move over, and now select cell E10, the number that I've stored in the cell is still valid, because it's up here in my formula bar. However, it's not presenting in my spreadsheet. How can I adjust this? How can I make the information visible? And that's what you're working with your height and your width of your information will do for you.
Well, there's a couple of ways. So let's work with the most visual way, and we'll do that, starting back in cell D10. So select cell D10, and then move up back up into the top row over the column identifier and look for the crosshairs. Make sure that your mouse is now a crosshair, and simply click and drag the mouse over, until you feel that that's an acceptable size. So you're visually just gauging how big you want that cell to be, and let go of your mouse. And very easily, you can see whether or not you've got enough information displayed, perhaps in this case I might have a little bit too much, so I just want to adjust it slightly to the left.
And, so, if you're a visual person, this is the easiest way to work with adjusting your column width, is just to move your mouse by using the crosshairs. Let's say you're a little bit more technically bent, and you would like a different way of working with it. And you also want to see what happens when I use the ribbon. So let's go over to column E. Select column E by using the downward pointing arrow, and clicking once. That highlights the whole column that you want to select. When you selected it, you'll notice that it's shaded, or it's highlighted in a different color, so you know that's the column that you're going to affect with the next command you're working on.
SO I click this, I go up over to my Format ribbon, and I pull down my formatting options. And I select Column Width, as my choice. SO I get my Column Width dialog box showing up here and it's asking me, what size of this column would you like it to be? And I put in 15. Now, what this is doing is, this is identifying the number of characters that I'm allowing to be in that cell, be it numbers, identifiers such as dollar signs, decimal places, letters, and basically giving enough space for 15 characters to be included in that cell, in that whole column. In this particular case, I click on OK, and it pops it out automatically.
automatically. So, there's two ways you can work with that, you can visually move the mouse over to the size you'd like it to be, or you can use the ribbon Format here, the ribbon command under formatting. Now that I'm back here, I'd just like to show you another really easy option for those of you that don't even want to get that detailed in how to manipulate the columns in your spreadsheets. You have this AutoFit Column Width. If you select that, you're letting the system take care of all of the decision-making, and it defaults to that best fit for that particular column.
So for those of you that like to have the decision-making taken completely away from you, use AutoFit Column Width to work with the column sizes. You can also manipulate the height of your rows. An example of this is in your EatCake Sales Forecast row here. You notice how it's a little bit thicker or larger than the rest of the rows that are in this particular spreadsheet. You can manipulate the size of the rows to highlight pieces of information in a very similar fashion as you can manipulate the column widths. Except this time you're working on the rows. If I move my mouse over to the bar between row 2 and row 3, it turns into another type of crosshair. As soon as I see that, I click on it and I pull down the row until it's where I'd like it to be.
And I take a look at how big that particular section is. Very, very easy to do again. Just as you could manipulate the columns by using the ribbon format, again, you can use the same thing with your rows. For those of you that prefer to use the ribbon formatting options, you select the row that you would like to identify by clicking in the row column, and it selects the whole row just like it selected the column. Go up to the formatting option, and in this case, select Row Height. Now in this particular dialog box, what the number here is identifying is the points, the number of points that are used to create the size of that particular row.
A point is 1/72 of an inch, and the default size of a row height is about 12, just over 12 points. So here, we've got quite a large area to work with. This in not going to be as easy to work with, in terms of guessing the size as you would if you were working with the column width, because the column width you're working with actual characters. For those you that would like to use the point options, certainly put in the options, and click OK, and it'll display the size that you've adjusted it to. In my case though, I think it's going to be much easier to go up to my formatting, and select AutoFit Row Height, and it brings it in to a much easier way to work with it.
Either that, or again, as a repeat, just using the visual options for your sales forecast. That gives you a really good overview of the different formatting options for your row and column heights and widths. And now we're going to take a look at the different other formatting options that you have available in the cells in a Microsoft spreadsheet.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
82 Video lessons · 75209 Viewers
80 Video lessons · 130046 Viewers
52 Video lessons · 64194 Viewers
59 Video lessons · 49993 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.