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Excel 2003 Essential Training with Mark Swift is a movie-based workshop for users who are new to working with spreadsheets, or those wanting to improve their skills. This workshop begins with a basic overview of the application and quickly advances to cover useful formulas, functions, techniques for enhancing spreadsheets, charts, and much more. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
Maybe the most important aesthetic improvement you can add to any worksheet is the addition of borders. Borders will help define the sections and the segments of your worksheet, as well as guide the viewers eye to various information around your sheet. Let's take a look at the sheet's current presentation when printed by using the Print Preview feature. Go up to the File menu and select Print Preview. As you can see without any lines or borders on this page, the information just kind of sits there in a clutter. Let's get out of this view by clicking Close and we'll add down the left-hand side here, I only want to select the titles. There we go. Let's right-click and go to Format Cells and we'll use the Border tab. Here in the Border tab you can see your various line styles. You've got broken lines, dotted and dashed and a combination thereof, as well you have varying thicknesses for your lines and even a double line.
Let's go ahead and select the normal thickness and apply that to the right hand side of the cell. As you can see, you can apply it to any part of the cell: interior wall, exterior bottom, top, left, right, and on 45 degree angles in both directions. I can in one click remove all the borders add an outline to my cells, or add the interior lines to my cells. In this case, we only want the right-hand cell. You'll see here I also have control over the color of my lines, but at this point I'm just going to leave them as black. Now to the titles. Let's add a bottom row border. Separate out the numerical values from the titles, right-click, go down to Format Cells, again that thickness, bottom, and along the title itself, let's select that cell. There's another way you can add borders from your Formatting toolbar. This drop-down box gives you a lot of the main selections, as well as it allows you to draw borders. I'm going to choose the thick bold line right here, and let's take a print preview now and see what we've got. Well it's starting to shape up. We're starting to get to a point where all of our information is divided and easier to read. I'm not sure that the titles rotated in 45 improve the readability of this particular spreadsheet, but it definitely does create a point, and you can see how adding borders really does divide your information. You're going to be able to spend a little more time putting borders into your spreadsheets and as long you don't go overboard, it really will improve the viewability of your sheet.
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