Cells without borders have no definition or emphasis, making them difficult to read within an untidy spreadsheet. This Excel tutorial is going to show you exactly how to add borders to cells and create a table in your worksheet. There are multitudes of styles and colors that you can surround sections of cells with, but it is important to remember that Excel works in a grid format. There are visible gridlines already, yet they are not borders and will not print as such. If you wish to remove them, you can uncheck the View box under Gridlines, within the Page Layout tab of your Excel toolbar.

This Excel course will focus on creating borders and understanding the various options available. The first step is to highlight the group of cells that you need to outline. Once you have done this, you will need to go to the Font section under the Home tab on your Excel toolbar. Then you need to click on the arrow next to the Borders icon. This is what it should look like:

You can clearly see the various borders that you can use. On the left hand-side, there are examples shown of what your selected cells will look like if you click on that option. Remember that Excel works with the highlighted cells as a whole, so it will not apply these options to individual cells within the selected section. If you want each cell to have its own border, then you will need to click on the All Borders option. Once you have clicked on your choice, Excel will instantly add the changes.

The Draw Borders section offers more advanced use of bordering. Once you understand how borders work in Excel, these options will save a great deal of time when trying to create tables or a maze of complex borders-within-borders, as there is no need to highlight areas first. Here is an explanation of what these choices allow you to do:

  • Draw Border

    This option will literally allow you to draw your own borders exactly where you need them to be.

  • Draw Border Grid

    If you click on this, you will be creating a grid (as with the abovementioned All Borders option). You will be able to quickly draw entire sections of individually bordered cells.

  • Erase Border

    You can easily erase all unnecessary borders within seconds.

  • Line Color

    A window will appear next to this option that allows you to give specific colors to your borders. You can highlight a section and make those lines red, while another section can be bordered in blue. If you click on More Options, you will be able to customize your colors further:

  • Line Style

    You are able to choose numerous styles in the window that appears next to this option. Your borders can be solid lines, dots, dashes and more:

  • More Borders

    The final option is used for detailed customization. If you click on this, it will take you to Borders in your Format Cell dialog box. This is one way of accessing this advanced feature; you can also press Ctrl and 1 simultaneously, or click on the downwards pointing arrow in the extreme bottom right-hand corner of your Font box on your Excel toolbar’s Home tab. Note that if you access it this way, you will need to click on the Border tab:

Implementing borders into your spreadsheets is absolutely imperative. Now that you have an understanding of how to create them, you will have worksheets that are reader-friendly and compatible with your data. Our Excel training students in South Florida recommended we write this article for you; because it is such an essential part of everyday Excel use. To enhance your Excel education, feel free to watch our live Excel webinars for detailed knowledge of how to use it to your benefit.

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