by Svetlana Cheusheva, updated on
The tutorial shows how to border cells in Excel by using the predefined options and how to create your custom cell border style.
Sometimes Excel worksheets can be difficult to read because of dense information and complex structure. Adding border around cells can help you distinguish different sections, emphasize certain data, such as column headings or total rows, and make your worksheets better presentable and more attractive.
Border is a line around a cell or a block of cells in Excel. Generally, cell borders are used to accent a specific section of a spreadsheet to make it stand out. For example, you can insert a border to draw attention of viewers to totals or other important data on the sheet.
Please do not confuse cell borders with worksheet gridlines. Borders are ticker and more prominent. Unlike gridlines, cell borders do not appear in a worksheet by default, you need to apply them manually. When printing out a document, the borders will appear on printed pages regardless of whether you print gridlines or not.
Microsoft Excel offers a few different ways to add a border around a single cell or a ranges of cells.
The fastest way to make a border in Excel is to apply one of the inbuilt options directly from the ribbon. Here's how:
For example, this is how you can apply an outside border around cells in Excel:
More examples of Excel cell borders can be found here.
The Format Cells dialog is the most effective method of adding borders in Excel. It gives you easy access to all the settings including the line color and thickness as well as a nice diagram preview.
To insert a border via the Format Cells dialog, this is what you need to do:
To quickly insert and remove cell borders, Excel provides a couple of keyboard shortcuts.
To add an outline border around the current selection, press the following keys at the same time.
Windows shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + &
Mac shortcut: Command + Option + 0
To remove all borders within the current selection, use the following key combinations.
Windows shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + _
Mac shortcut: Command + Option + _
Note. Excel border shortcut does not give you control over the line color and thickness. To create borders professionally, it is recommended to use the Format Cells dialog that provides full access to all the settings.
On the Borders tab of the Format Cells dialog, you can also use the following shortcuts toggle borders on and off:
Tip. In case you are adding multiple borders, it is sufficient to press Alt just once, and then you can hit only the letter keys. For example, to place the top and bottom borders, press Alt + T, and then B.
Instead of selecting cells first, and then choosing from a set of built-in options, you can draw borders directly on the worksheet. Here's how:
Tip. To delete the entire border or any of its elements, use the Erase border feature as describe in Erasing borders.
In none of the predefined cell borders meet your needs, you can create your own border style. Here are the steps to perform:
To apply your custom border style, just do the following:
Your custom style will be applied to the selected cells at once:
When you add a cell border in Excel, a black (automatic) line color and a thin line style is used by default. To change the color and width of cell borders, please follow these steps:
Below you will have a few examples of how your Excel borders may look like.
To apply an outline border around cells, use either Outside Borders or Think Outside Borders option:
To apply top and bottom border in Excel with a single command, use this option:
To apply top and thick bottom border, use this one:
To place a bottom double border in Excel, use the below command. This option comes especially handy for separating a total row:
To place both inside and outside borders at a time, use the All Borders command:
To put only inside borders or use different colors and line styles for inside and outside borders, use either the Draw Borders feature the Format Cells dialog. The below image shows one of many possible results:
The following tips will give you some insight into Excel cell borders that may help you use them more efficiently.
Depending on whether you want to delete all or specific borders, use one of the following techniques.
To delete all borders within a range, this is what you need to do:
Alternatively, you can use the remove borders shortcut: Ctrl + Shift + _
If you choose to remove all formatting in Excel, this will also remove cell borders.
To remove borders one at a time, use the Erase Border feature:
That's how to create and change borders in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!
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