Formatting Data in Excel (Table of Contents)
Formatting in Excel
With the use of formatting, we can change the appearance of a worksheet. Excel has several tools which can change the data appearance as per the requirement. Based on the result or purpose of the data, excel provides various data formatting elements like font color, font size, background, font style, alignment etc.
There are lot of ways to format data in excel. Follow the below guidelines while formatting the data/report in excel:
- The column heading/row heading is a very important part in the report. It describes the information about data. Thus, the heading should be in bold. The shortcut key is CTRL + B. It’s also available in the Font section in the toolbar.
- The header font size should be larger than the other content of the data.
- The header field background color should be other than white color. So that it should be properly visible in the data.
- Make the outline border of the heading field. There are a lot of border styles. For border style, Go to Font section and click on an icon as per below screenshot:
- Choose the appropriate border style. With this, we can add a border of the cells.
- The header font should be aligned in the center.
- To make the size of cells enough, so that the data written within the cell should be in a proper reading manner.
- For number formatting, there are a lot of styles available. For this, Go to number section and click on combo box like below screenshot:
- Depend on the data, whether it should be in decimal, percentage, number, date formatting can be done.
In the below image, we have shown different font style:
“B” is to make the font bold, “I” is for italic, “U” is for make underline, etc.
How to Format Data in Excel?
Let’s take below data and will understand the data formatting in excel one by one.
Formatting in Excel – Example #1
We have the above-unorganized data which is looking very simple. Now we will do data formatting in excel and will make this data in a presentable format.
- First, select the header field and make it as bold.
- Select the whole data and choose the “All Border option” under the border.
So the Data will look like this :
- Now select the header field and make the thick border by selecting the “Thick box border” under the border.
After that, the Data will look like this :
- Make the header field in the center.
- Also, choose the background color other than white. Here we will use a light blue color.
Now the data is looking more presentable.
Formatting in Excel – Example #2
In this example, we will learn more style of formatting the report or data.
Let’s take an example of weather prediction of different cities day wise.
Now we want to highlight the Wednesday data.
- Select the whole records of that data and do the right click. A drop down box will appear. Select the “Format Cells” option.
- This will open a Format Cells dialog box. As we can see, here are lot of options available to change the font style in various style as we want.
- Through the Number button, we can change the data type like decimal, percentage etc.
- Through Alignment button, we can align the font in a different style.
- Click on the Font button. This button has a lot of font styles available. We can change the font type, style, size, color etc.
- In this example, we are choosing bold, font size as 12, color as Orange. We also can make the border of this data to look more visible by clicking on the Border button.
- Now our data is looking like below screenshot:
Formatting in Excel – Example #3
Again we are assuming the same data. Now we want to present this data in pictorial format.
- Select whole data and go to Insert menu. Click on Column Chart, Select Stacked Column under 2-D Column Chart.
- Our Data will look like as below:
Benefits of Data Formatting in Excel:
- Data looks more presentable.
- Through formatting, we can highlight the specific data like profit or loss in business.
- Through the chart, we can easily analyze the data.
- Data Formatting saves our lot of time and effort.
Things to Remember
- There are a lot of shortcut keys available for data formatting in excel. Through which we can save our lot of time and effort.
- CTRL+B – BOLD
- CTRL+I – ITALIC
- CTRL+U – UNDERLINE
- ALT+H+B – Border Style
- CTRL+C – Copy the data, CTRL+X – Cut the data, CTRL+V – Paste the data.
- ALT+H+V – It will open the paste dialog box. Here a lot of paste options available.
- When we insert the chart for the data as we created in Example 3, it will open the chart tools menu. Through this option, we can do the formatting of the chart as per our requirement.
- Excel provides a very interesting feature, through which we can do a quick analysis of our data. For this, Select the data and do the right click. It will open a list of item. Select the “Quick Analysis” option.
- It will open the conditional formatting toolbox.
Through this option, we can add more conditions in the data like if data is less than 40 or greater than 60, so how the data look in this condition.
This has been a guide to Formatting in Excel. Here we discuss how to Format Data in Excel along with excel example and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –