Style Your Spreadsheets to Present Data More Clearly

Applying styles to your spreadsheets is not simply a matter of style over substance. Formatting allows you to emphasise and delineate your data, enhancing both its clarity and your presentations. Styles is a tool that allows you to more quickly and easily apply consistent formatting to your spreadsheet using pre-defined formatting ‘styles’.

You can apply a Style to your selected cells with a single click. Simply navigate to the ‘HOME’ ribbon tab and then the ‘Styles’ group. The ‘Styles’ gallery here includes a set of built-in Styles ready for use.

If no built-in Style matches your requirements or taste, you can apply your desired formatting to any existing cell (or range of cells) before designating that formatting as a new Style. With the cell or range of cells selected, simply use the ‘More’ dropdown in the ‘Styles’ gallery and select the ‘New Cell Style’ option to do so.

 

Styles are only available in the workbook in which they are created, although there is a ‘Merge Styles’ option in the ‘More’ dropdown that can copy Styles into the current workbook from any open workbook.

 

 

Look through the multiple Style options and apply them in a way suitable for your workbook. You can quickly format your headings and cells that need accent or warning text, for instance, by simply using the preset styles from the lists.

In the following example, you can see that we have formatted our data to include the Heading in row 1, and we have added a 20% accent to the rest of the table. Column C contains calculations, so we have indicated this using the ‘calculation’ Style. Make sure to note your Styles in your documentation.

 

Consistent application of Styles to particular types of cell content can make it much easier for people working as part of a team to quickly understand how a spreadsheet works. By always showing ‘calculation’ cells using one format and ‘input’ cells using a different format, for example, you can make it less likely that a user will inadvertently overwrite a calculation cell with a value.

To learn more about how simple cell formatting can greatly enhance the presentation and functionality of your spreadsheets, visit our Excel course.