Make your spreadsheet data more readable and compelling with these simple Excel formatting tips.
- [Instructor] We're looking at the fonts worksheet in our chapter one exercise file called fonts borders alignments. And you can see pretty quickly, in column A we're using fonts of different colors. The standard font in Excel is called Calibri. And when you click a cell, I'm about to click on cell A3, we see that in the font group on the home tab and to the right of it is the size. In Excel, since 2007 the standard font and size, unless you make a change to it, is Calibri size 11. And just for the record, older versions of Excel use Ariel size 10.
There's a comparison of the fonts over here in rows two and three off to the right. Sometimes you encounter some data and it looks a little bit different, yet pretty similar, it could be a worksheet created long ago using Ariel 10 font. They're very close to each other in terms of appearance. Now at different times we want to change the color of the font or the actual font size. As I click on cell A1, you'll notice that's Calibri, off to the right, the number is 16. I want that to be bigger. I'll click the drop arrow and as I slide over these numbers, you can see how the font size is changing and notice how the row is getting taller automatically or shorter depending on the size.
And of course we can also apply bold or italic or both. These are both toggle buttons, they're on-off. Click them once, click them again. And most people are familiar with how these work. And in column A, these other entries here are bold, we can see that as we look up in the font group here, we see that indicator. And probably you can tell by appearance anyway after you've worked with this feature a bit. Now at different times, you might want to change the actual font, let's say for the heading. In order for this to be a little bit clearer, I'm going to insert a new column temporarily by right clicking on column A and choosing insert and then making that column A quite a bit wider.
Then clicking on cell B1, in order to see the fonts and to get a preview, that's why I inserted the extra column, as we click the drop arrow here and slide over some of these choices. You can see what's happening in row one up there. I think it's pretty apparent some of these are not exactly appropriate for business situations, but some are more interesting than others and if you like this one or like that one, fine. If you're familiar with Microsoft Word, the native font there, the default font, is Times New Roman, some people will use that. Here it's being used, it's bold, it's italic. Once again, we could experiment with the size.
We don't need that extra column A anymore. I'll right click it and delete it. There we are. Now at different times you might want to change the color of numerical cells. I express a little bit of caution about this particularly if you're drifting toward trying to make the numbers red. I think many of you know that in accounting circles red means negative, we don't want that to be misunderstood. With any kind of cell, whether it's numerical or text, you probably want a darker color because usually cell backgrounds are white or at least a light color. So as you slide over some of these choices, you see the preview below.
And again, if for whatever reason you want to use a color, fine, go ahead, but again be a little bit careful with that. And you'll be the best judge of what looks best on your screen. Now at different times you might want to change the color background of a cell. The next sheet over, fill color, has color in rows four and five and probably a lot of people are familiar with how these are applied and removed, but let's highlight these cells here. And you'll notice that on the font group in the home tab, there's a fill color bucket here. And here you're more likely to want to use lighter colors because text typically is black, sometimes dark red, but we want to use the lighter colors so the numbers shine through.
And I think it's pretty apparent. A dark green here, a dark blue is not going to work so well. At a later time, you might want to remove a color if you don't want any color here, select the cells and we go back to that fill color bucket and use no fill. Sometimes you might want to use patterns as well as colors highlighting the cells here. So how do we adjust that fill pattern? Right click and go to format cells, one of a number of ways to get to format cells. This will not necessarily take us to the fill tab, it did in this case because I've used it recently, but for fill effects, here's a pattern style up to the right.
A lot of these will not work so well with text, but the lighter ones with dots might work. I'll switch it to this one here and maybe I'll switch color and I'll use kind of an orange, maybe a lighter orange, there we go. And there's our preview down below, click okay. So at different times, possibly for emphasis, just to provide a little bit of color, we choose fill color using the fill color bucket. And so for a variety of formatting options related to font, anytime we want to change the type of font, the size, the color, or apply bold or italic, or change cell color, all these tools are available to us in the font group on the home tab.
- Controlling fonts, borders, colors, and alignment
- Adjusting numeric formats quickly
- Accentuating dynamic data with conditional formatting
- Adjusting rows and columns