Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

1.18. Use MS Excel to apply formatting and special effects applicable to the given problem

ryanrori February 3, 2021

[responsivevoice_button rate=”0.9″ voice=”UK English Female” buttontext=”Listen to Post”]

After completing this section, the learner will be able to apply formatting to a spreadsheet applicable to the given problem, by successfully completing the following:

  • Explain methods of automatically formatting a spreadsheet 
  • Create a spreadsheet using a template
  • Format cells using styles
  • Copy formats between cells 
  • Use special effects to improve the presentation of the spreadsheet

You can help improve the readability of a worksheet by applying different types of formatting. For example, you can apply borders and shading to help define the cells in a worksheet.

Excel’s format options include conditional formatting, number formatting, and text and cell formatting

You can help those who view your worksheets by using some simple techniques in Excel to get your data message across clearly. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Give your worksheet a good title – The ultimate goal of your worksheet is to present information in a way others will understand. Give readers a head start by titling your worksheet clearly. A good title lets readers know immediately what the content of the worksheet is going to show them 

Let the format lead the eye – The way in which you format your worksheet should lead the eye. As a general rule, the largest items on your page will get the first look. Then, the eye will look for the next largest, and the next largest after that. The actual content — the data in the cells — is likely to be what your readers see last.

Apply a theme – When you apply a theme to your Excel 2007 worksheet, you make a design choice that includes the font, colour, table style, and effects of the information on your worksheet. The great thing about this feature is that you can dramatically change the look and feel of your information simply by opening the Themes gallery and clicking another choice.

Don’t cram your charts – The best way to ensure that your readers will keep viewing your information is to make sure they understand what they’re looking at. And that means paring your chart down to the essentials and not littering the bars or pie slices with all sorts of labels and percentages and other nonessential items. Show what you need to get your point across and no more. 

Diagrams are helpful – Use SmartArt to create professional-looking diagrams for flowcharts, org charts, and much more. 


Take advantage of conditional formatting

You can use a variety of visualisations to help show trends in the data you’re presenting. You can use symbols, colour bars, and more. To add conditional formatting to your worksheet, select the cells you want to showcase and click Conditional Formatting in the Styles group of the Home tab. Select the style of formatting you want to apply, and Live Preview will show how the formatting will look on your data.


When in doubt, spell it out

If you are working on a complex worksheet you can add comments to cells in the worksheet. Simply select the cell or range you want to add a note to, right-click, and choose Insert Comment. A small text box opens on top of your worksheet so that you can type the note you want to add. Your readers will know a comment exists at that point in your worksheet because a small red triangle appears in the upper-right corner of the cell. When a reader hovers the mouse pointer over the triangle, the note opens.