How To Format Cells In Excel With Examples

In this tutorial, we learn how to format cells in Excel with examples to understand easily and clearly. Particularly, knowing how to format excel, cell in particular is useful not only will it look the aesthetic perspective of the document also it will improve the effectiveness in delivering information to the viewers of the data.

Each cell in Microsoft Excel can be modified and formatted to follow your specific preferences.

What is Formatting in Excel?

Formatting in Excel is a way that we can use to change data appearance in the way we like. We can do this in various ways, notably, we can format the font of the cells of a table considering the styles and format we can see in Home Tab.

Excel has made it easier than ever to format data on a worksheet (or sheet). There are many quick and easy ways to make worksheets that look professional and show our data clearly.

For example, we can use document themes to give our Excel spreadsheets a consistent look, styles to apply predetermined formats, and other manual formatting options to bring attention to important data.

By default, all cell content uses the same formatting; when a workbook is loaded with a bunch of data it can be difficult to read and analyze. Therefore, basic formatting can customize the way you look and feel your workbook; it allows you to draw attention to the details and specifications you want to view.

Further, number formatting allows you to determine what exactly type of data you are using in a workbook, in particular dates currency, time, percentage(%), etc.

Benefits of Data Formatting in Excel

The following are some of the benefits of Excel data formatting:

  • The data appears to be more presentable.
  • Data formatting saves a lot of time and effort.
  • With the help of the chart, we can analyze the data.
  • With the help of the formatting, we can highlight specific data such as profit or loss in business.

Format Cells in Excel

Here are some various ways to format cells in Excel.

Change the font

Excel by default sets the font of a new workbook to Calibri, but considering its usefulness it provides many fonts you can use to suit your preference. The example below will show you how to format your title cell which will help you apparently to distinguish it from the rest of the worksheet.

  1. First, highlight the cell(s) you want to modify.Change Cell Font
  2. Next, click the drop-down arrow next to the Font command on the Home tab. The Font drop-down menu will appear.
  3. Then, Choose your desired font. As you move your mouse over different selections, a live preview of the new fonts will show. In our example, we’ll choose Stencil.Select Fonts
  4. Finally, the text will change to the selected font.Cell Font Changed

Tips: When creating a workbook in a work task, aside from Calibri, you may use standard reading fonts Cambria, Arial and Times New Roman.

Change the font size

  • Select the cell(s) you want to change the font size.Change Cell Font
  • On the Home tab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Font Size command. The Font Size drop-down option will be displayed.Font Sizes
  • Select the desired font size. A live preview of the new font size will appear as you hover the mouse over different options. In our example, we will choose 16 to make the text larger.
  • The text will change to the selected font size. Font Size Changed

You can also use the Increase Font Size and Decrease Font Size commands or enter a custom font size using your keyboard.

To change the font color

  • Select the cell(s) you want to modify. Change Cell Font
  • Click the drop-down arrow next to the Font Color command on the Home tab. The Color menu will be displayed.
  • Choose the desired font color. Then, a live preview of the new font color will appear as you hover the mouse over different options. In our example, we’ll select Red. Format Cell Fon Color
  • The text will change to the selected font color.Format Cell Font Color Change

Tips : Select More Colors at the bottom of the menu to access additional color options.

Format Cell Font More Color

Use the Bold, Italic, and Underline commands:

  1. Choose a cell you want to format.
  2. Click the Bold (B), Italic (I), or Underline (U) command on the Home tab. In our example, we’ll select cells bold.
  3. The selected style will be applied to the text.

You can also press Ctrl+B on your keyboard to make selected text boldCtrl+I to apply italics, and Ctrl+U to apply an underline.

Number format on Excel

Formatting cells in Excel allows us to alter the number appearance without changing the number value itself. We can custom number format such as number of decimals or decrease decimals, date and time, (0.8, $0.80, 80%, etc) other formatting like text alignment, font border and etc.

  1. Enter data in a cell with a decimal value.

  2. Click the cell A1.

    Next right click and select the format cells dialog box either way Press CRTL+ 1. Thus, open the format cells dialog box

  3. Select Currency.

    Remember excel gives a live preview once you select the format you want. Click OK.excel currency format

  4. On the Home tab, in the Number group, click the percentage symbol to apply a Percentage format.

    Percent Format

  5. On the Home tab, in the Alignment group, center the number.

    Center Number Format

  6. On the Home tab, in the Font group, add outside borders and change the font color to blue.

    Excel outside border and font color

How to Copy Cell Format in Excel?

  1. Select the cell with the formatting you want to copy.
  2. Select Home > Format Painter.
  3. Drag to select the cell or range you want to apply the formatting to.
  4. Release the mouse button and the formatting should now be applied.

To learn and understand more about copying format this is our prior article How To Copy Format In Excel.

How to clear cell formatting in excel

  1. Highlight the portion of the spreadsheet from which you want to remove formatting.
  2. Click the Home tab.
  3. Select Clear from the Editing portion of the Home tab.
  4. From the drop-down menu of the Clear button, select Clear Formats.


In summary, we discussed the different ways to format cells in excel. Asides from that we know the benefits of formatting cells. We concluded manipulating and modifying the format of excel as well improves the appearance of the workbook; now you can try it from your perspective.

Thank you for reading!

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