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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.
Styles may be the most underutilized feature in all of Excel. Styles are a very powerful way to apply formatting to your cells and an easy way to update or change the formatting to your cells. Let's take a look. If you'll browse to your Student Files and look at Chapter 9, you'll find another version of Quarterly_Sales and as you can see there's been some formatting applied. Every cell has some kind of a style. That style could be the default style or no style at all. If you go up to the Format menu and take a look at the style dialog box. You'll see that the Normal style effects Numbering, the Number Format, Alignment, Font, Borders, Patterns, that's the cell fill, and Protection, whether or not that's locked from being changed. You can modify an existing style, as you'll see from the drop-down box we have styles for commas, currency, and percent, or you can create a style quite simply. To create a style let's first apply some formatting to a cell and then use it as a base to create a new one. Let's go into cell B8. Let's increase the font size to 12, make that bold, and give it a background color, let's say a very light gold color. Now I haven't done anything with the numbering formats or its alignment, but it'll suit our purpose. Let's go up to Format > Styles and put in a new name. Now I've entered a new name, so I'm actually going to add a new style.
Before I do I want to select exactly what elements of the selected cell or cells that I'm going to be recording. In this case, I'll record all of them. I'll click Add, and say OK. Now we can select the remainder of the total cells, go up to Format > Style and we can select the Totals style. Now all the cells look exactly the same and they've been formatted using a style pattern. The advantage of using a style pattern is that we don't have to select those cells to make changes. Because they've been formatted using a style we can go back up to the Format > Style dialog box, choose the style that we want to work with, click Modify. That takes us to the Format Cells dialog box where we can change things like the Font. I think that a 12-point font is a little too big. So let's select 11. And maybe that background pattern is a little too bright, so let's choose a very, very light cyan. Say OK, and OK, and now everything that was affected by that style is automatically updated. Surely you can see that if you had dozens of cells all over a very large spreadsheet that were using various styles, you can go in and modify those styles and quickly update the entire look of your spreadsheet with just a few clicks. When I'm done with that style, I can go Format > Style. Here I've got Totals selected and because it's a user-defined style, I can delete that style or remove it from my selections.
I'll say OK. The disadvantage now is because I've removed all styles those cells revert back to normal and I'd need to go back in and apply my numerical formatting in order to make it look like dollars and cents. Styles are a very powerful part of the formatting available Microsoft Excel, and they should be utilized more.
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