Developing a Professional-Looking Worksheet


1. Microsoft Office Excel 2003

Tutorial 3 - Developing a Professional-Looking Worksheet


2. Open the Format Cells dialog box

Formatting is the process of changing the appearance of your workbook.

A properly formatted workbook can be easier to read, appear more professional, and help draw attention to important points.

The formatting toolbar is the fastest way to format your worksheet.

With buttons on this toolbar, you can apply a comma format, adjust the number of decimal places in a number, apply Currency and Percent formats and even quickly copy formats.

If you select a cell or range, click Format on the menu bar and then click Cells, the Format Cells dialog box opens.


3. The Format Cells dialog box


4. Format data using different fonts, sizes and font styles

A font is the design applied to letters, characters and punctuation marks. Each font is identified by a font name or type face.

Fonts can be displayed in various sizes and you can even change the color of the font or the background color in the cell.

These options are available in the Format Cells dialog box and there are also buttons available for the formatting toolbar to make formatting faster.


5. Align cell contents

When you enter numbers and formulas into a cell, Excel automatically aligns them with the cell's right edge and bottom border, while text entries are aligned with the left edge and bottom border.

You can control the alignment of data within a cell horizontally and vertically.

Left, Right and Center alignments can be selected using their respective alignment buttons on the Formatting toolbar.

To align the cell's contents vertically, open the Format Cells dialog box and choose the vertical alignment options on the Alignment tab.


6. Align using Merge and Center

Another option available for alignment in the Format Cells dialog box and on the Format toolbar is the Merge and Center option, which centers text in one cell across a range of cells.

If you want to fit a lot of text within a cell but without having to expand the column width to be very large, you can use the text wrapping option on the Alignment tab, or even choose to indent text.

You can also have Excel shrink the text to fit within the given column width you have chosen or even rotate text from -90 to +90 degrees.


7. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box


8. Examples of text formatting


9. Add cell borders and backgrounds

Excel provides a range of tools to format not only the contents of a cell, but also the cells themselves.

The gridlines you see in Excel in a new worksheet are not displayed on printed pages.

You can add a border to a cell using either the Borders button on the Formatting toolbar or the options on the Border tab in the Format Cells dialog box.


10. The Borders button versus the Border tab

When you click the list arrow for the Borders button, a Borders palette appears showing common choices as well as a Draw Borders button at the bottom of the Border palette gallery.

The Borders button allows you to create borders very quickly, whereas the Format Cells dialog box allows you to refine your choices further.

The Border Tab in the Format Cells dialog box is especially useful for controlling how a block of cells or a range appears with borders.

You have the option to change the outermost top, bottom and sides of the range independently, as well as determine different borders for the lines separating the cells inside the range's grid.


11. The Border tab of the Format Cells dialog box


12. Add patterns or colors to cells

Patterns and colors can be used to enhance the appearance of spreadsheet cells.

The fastest way to apply background color to cells in the worksheet is by clicking the list arrow of the Fill color button and choosing a color from the palette.

To apply a fill pattern to cells, use the Patterns tab on the Format Cells dialog box.


13. The Patterns tab of the Format Cells dialog box


14. A worksheet with formatting applied


15. Merge a range of cells

To merge a range of cells into a single cell:

Use the Merge option on the Alignment tab in the Format Cells dialog box

Click the Merge and Center button on the Formatting toolbar

To split a merged cell back into individual cells:

Select the merged cell

Click the Merge and Center button again

Or uncheck the Merge Cells check box on the Alignment tab in the Format Cells dialog box


16. Merge headings across multiple cells


17. Hide rows and/or columns

You can hide rows or columns, which does not affect the data stored there, nor does it affect any cell that might have a formula reference to a cell within the hidden row or column.

To hide a row or column:

Select the row or column and then choose Hide from either the Row or Column option of the Format menu, or, from the shortcut menu that pops up when you right click the row or column heading

To unhide a row or column:

Select the headings of the rows or columns that border the hidden area, then choose Unhide from either the Row or Column option of the Format menu, or, from the shortcut menu that pops up when you right click the row or column heading


18. Worksheet with hidden cells


19. Format the worksheet background and sheet tabs

You can use an image file as a background for a worksheet.

Images can be used to give the background a textured appearance, like that of granite, wood, or fibered paper.

The background image does not affect the format or content of any cell in the worksheet, and if you have already defined a background color for a cell, Excel displays the color on top, hiding that portion of the image.

You cannot apply a background image to all the sheets of the workbook at the same time.


20. Insert a background image and change a worksheet tab color

To add a background image to a worksheet:

Click Format on the menu bar, point to Sheet and click Background

Locate and select an image from your hard drive, floppy drive, network, etc., and click the Insert button

You can also format the background color of the worksheet tabs, but this color is only visible when the worksheet is not the active sheet in the workbook.

Right click the tab you want to change and choose Tab color from the shortcut menu

Select a color from the color palette, click the OK button, and then click on a different tab in order to see the color displayed on the changed tab


21. A worksheet with a background image


22. Find and replace formats within a worksheet

The Undo button on the Standard toolbar is very useful for removing formatting choices you have decided you do not want to use.

You can also clear the formatting of selected cells, returning them to their initial, unformatted appearance.

To clear formatting, select a cell or range, click Edit on the menu bar, point to Clear and then click Formats


23. Use Find and Replace to change formats

Click Edit on the menu bar and then click Replace.

When the Find and Replace dialog box opens, click the Options >> button to expand the box and display additional find and replace options.

Click on the Replace tab and then click the topmost Format button to open a Find Format dialog box, select the format combinations you want to search for, then click the OK button.

Click the lower Format button and when the dialog box opens, select the options you want to use for replacing the formatting.

Click the OK button and then the Replace All button to quickly change all the cells that meet your Find Format criteria.


24. Dialog boxes used for Find and Replace operations


25. Create and apply styles

If you have several cells that use the same format, you can create a style for those cells.

A style is a saved collection of formatting options: number formats, text alignment, font sizes and colors, borders, and background fills.

If you modify the specifications for a style, the appearance of any cell associated with that style would be automatically changed to reflect the new style.

To create a style, click on a cell that has formatting applied to it and this formatting becomes the basis of the new style you want to create.


26. Create a style using the Style dialog box

Click Format on the menu bar, and then click Style. The Style dialog box opens and all the formatting options associated with the active cell are listed.

Give the style a name, and then modify the formatting options by removing or adding to the existing ones listed in the dialog box. Click the OK button to create a style with a specific name.

To apply a style within a worksheet, first select the cells you want associated with the style, then open the Style dialog box, choose the style name from the list arrow and then click the OK button.

When you create a style, you can also click the Merge button in the Style dialog box to merge a style with those from other open workbooks.


27. The Style dialog box


28. Apply an AutoFormat to a table

You can apply a professionally designed format to your worksheet by choosing one of 17 predefined formats from the AutoFormat gallery.

To apply an AutoFormat to a table:

Select a range that has a table of information in it

Click Format on the menu bar, click AutoFormat and the AutoFormat dialog box opens. Scroll through the gallery to view different table formats, click on one you want to try, and then click the OK button.

Click on a cell outside of your selected range to remove the highlighting from your table so you can see what it looks like with the AutoFormat design applied.


29. The AutoFormat style gallery


30. Format a printout using Print Preview

Open a Print Preview window by clicking the Print Preview button on the Standard toolbar.

Excel will display the preview as a full page, which may be difficult to read.

Click the Zoom button on the Print Preview toolbar, or pass your mouse over the page, and the pointer changes to the shape of a magnifying glass. When you click any portion of the page Excel will zoom in. Zoom out using the same methods.

By clicking the Setup button on the Print Preview toolbar, you can change margins, orientation, center the page or set several other formatting and printing features.

You can also open the Page Setup dialog box by selecting that option from the File menu.


31. The Margins tab of the Page Setup dialog box


32. Create a header and footer for a printed worksheet

A header is text printed within the top margin of every worksheet page and a footer is printed within the bottom margin of every page.

Headers and footers can add important information to your printouts.

Excel tries to anticipate headers and footers and provides several preformatted options in list boxes on the Header/Footer tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

Click the list arrow for these header and footer options and select one of Excel's suggestions or create your own by choosing the Custom Header or Custom Footer buttons on the Header/Footer tab.


33. The Header dialog box


34. Define a print area and add a page break to a printed worksheet

By default, Excel prints all parts of the active worksheet that contain text, formulas, or values.

You can define a print area that contains only the content that you want to print.

To define a print area, select the range you want to print, click File on the menu bar, point to Print Area, and then click Set Print Area.

You can also specify different sections of your worksheet to print on separate pages.

Insert a page break by clicking on a cell, clicking Insert on the menu bar, and then clicking Page Break


35. The Sheet tab of the Page Setup dialog box