How to Make Excel Spreadsheets Look Good

Written by foye robinson
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How to Make Excel Spreadsheets Look Good
Use graphs and colours to enhance your spreadsheet. (Jason Reed/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Excel helps you display, arrange and analyse vast amounts of data. Formatting your spreadsheet makes it visually appealing and easier to read. Although Excel includes a number of formatting options, it's best to minimise the number of fonts, colours, styles and graphics within your worksheet. You can apply consistent fonts, colours and styles for headings, subtotals and totals, to make them stand out, but remain clean. Spacing also improves the overall look of cells and charts on your spreadsheet.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click the "Select All" button to the top, left corner of your spreadsheet, beside the "A" column header to highlight the entire spreadsheet. Use themes to apply uniform colours, fonts and effects to your spreadsheet quickly. Go to the "Page Layout" tab and "Themes" group. Select "Themes" and the theme set you want to apply.

  2. 2

    Highlight section headings and totals on your spreadsheet. To add borders, right-click on the selection and choose "Format Cells" from the pop-up. Click the "Border" tab in the Format Cells dialogue box and pick a line style and colour. To change the background colour of cells, click the "Fill" tab, pick a background colour and click "OK."

  3. 3

    Click the row header to select a row or the column header to select a column that contains values. Right-click the selection and choose "Format Cells" from the pop-up. The Format Cells dialogue box opens. Click the "Number" tab, pick the formatting you want to apply and press "OK."

  4. 4

    Select any cells you want to align. Right alignment works well on cells that include numbers. To right align the selected cells, go to the "Home" tab and "Alignment" group and click the "Align Text Right" button ("Ctrl" and "R"). To centre headings on your spreadsheet, select the cells and press "Ctrl" and "E" to centre them.

  5. 5

    Highlight headings on your spreadsheet to colour the text. Go to the "Home" tab and "Styles" group. Click "Cell Styles" and choose a style. For additional colours, go to the "Home" tab and "Font" group. Click the "Font Color" button and select "More Colors" from the bottom of the list. Pick a colour in the "Colors" dialogue box and click "OK."

  6. 6

    Select any cells that require more spacing. To adjust a cell's height, right-click the row heading and select "Row height" from the flyout menu. Enter a value into the "Row Height" text field in the dialogue box that opens. To adjust the width, right-click the column heading and select "Column Width" from the flyout menu. Then enter a value into the "Column width" text field in the dialogue box that opens. Alternatively, double-click the dividing bar between the column headings. It will expand to fit the largest text or value in that column.

  7. 7

    Increase the spacing between your charts and data. To move a chart, grab its sizing handle (the box surrounding the chart) and drag it beside the data it's analysing. To resize the chart, grab a corner of the sizing handle and push it inward to shrink it or outward to enlarge it.

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