Struggling with tedious formatting tasks in Excel? You can make your life much easier with these powerful Excel formatting shortcuts. Find out which shortcuts are the best to help you save time and energy when dealing with complex data.
Essential Excel Formatting Shortcuts
Excel is a lifesaver for organizing data. But, formatting the cells can take a lot of time. So, it’s essential to know the essential Excel formatting shortcuts.
In this chapter, I’m going to show you my top 3 favorite shortcuts. They’ll save you hours of work. First, we’ll look at the format painter. It lets you copy and paste formatting. Then, we’ll customize number formats to make the data look professional. Last, we’ll learn how to optimize data visualization with conditional formatting. This will help you easily spot patterns in the data.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Yuval Woodhock
Master the Format Painter
Select the cell with the desired formatting and click on the Format Painter button on the Home tab (or press Ctrl + C for shortcut key). Then, choose the cell(s) you want to apply formatting to. If you want to apply the same formatting to multiple cells, double-click the Format Painter button instead of single-clicking it. Finally, press Esc or click the Format Painter button again when you’re done.
Mastering the Format Painter can save hours of manual work. But, don’t rely on it alone since it can only capture limited formats. To get the most out of your spreadsheets, learn how to use styles and templates.
An interesting fact about mastering Format Painter is that it can copy formulas better than traditional methods like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V. So, if you want to produce better outcomes, try using Format Painter.
Lastly, don’t forget to customize your number formats!
Customize Your Number Formats
Customizing number formats is essential for presenting data in Excel. To do this, select the cells and go to the ‘Home’ tab of the ribbon. Then click on the ‘Number Format’ dropdown menu and select the desired formatting option. You can use keyboard shortcuts to customize your number formats quickly and easily!
When it comes to financial data, currency formatting is a must. You don’t have to waste time manually applying currency symbols one by one anymore! This feature allows you to format all your values into your chosen currency within seconds.
Remember, number formatting options can change depending on your region or country. So, it is important to make sure that selected cell ranges contain numeric values first before making any changes.
Large numbers can be difficult to present, but this isn’t a problem anymore! We can now display numbers far beyond what was possible historically.
Now let’s move on to Optimize Data Visualization with Conditional Formatting.
Optimize Data Visualization with Conditional Formatting
Conditional formatting helps viewers to quickly understand data. This is especially important when presenting complex data sets. Without visual cues, it can be overwhelming.
For example, imagine presenting sales figures without any formatting. The numbers would all look similar, with no way to highlight key differences. Utilizing conditional formatting techniques – such as bold text, font size changes, or color coding – can help presenters showcase the important information quickly.
I remember a team meeting in an office where we used Google Sheets. We used conditional formatting to highlight cells in red when we were off-target. This simple but effective technique enabled us to quickly see where we needed most to improve.
Advanced Cell Formatting Tricks are next. This will help you further develop your skills.
Advanced Cell Formatting Tricks
Excel-lovers, let’s boogie! Mastering shortcut keys is a great way to save time. We all know ctrl+c & ctrl+v, but there are more tricks that can take your Excel experience to the next level. Here are three of the best:
- Accelerate Formatting with Keyboard Shortcuts
- Add Color to Your Spreadsheets with Fill Functions
- Control Text Display with Wrap Text Function
Let’s make our work faster and better than ever!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Washington
Accelerate Formatting with Keyboard Shortcuts
Gaining proficiency in keyboard shortcuts for Excel is an absolute must for users looking to save time and be more efficient. Here are 5 shortcuts to help you accelerate formatting:
- CTRL + SHIFT + L
- ALT + H + O + I
- CTRL + B, CTRL + I or CTRL + U
- SHIFT + SPACEBAR followed by CTRL + 1 or ALT + H FN T (on a Mac)
- SHIFT+ F10 followed by E, R or T (for rows, columns or tables).
Using these shortcuts allows you to format cells quickly and easily, particularly when dealing with large data sets. You don’t have to follow any strict rules for formatting, as everyone has their own preferences. However, using these shortcuts can keep your formatting consistent across worksheets.
If you’re just starting out with keyboard shortcuts in Excel, begin with the basics such as CTRL+C and CTRL+V. Experimenting with different combinations on sample spreadsheets is a great way to practice and find a system that works best for you.
For adding colour to your spreadsheets, the fill functions are a great option!
Add Color to Your Spreadsheets with Fill Functions
Fill functions are an easy way to give your spreadsheets some colour, making them more visually appealing. Here are some handy Excel tips:
- Fill an Entire Row or Column: Select the cells, then bring up the ‘fill handle’ in the lower-right corner of your selection.
- Copy Formatting: Use ‘Paste Special’ and select ‘Formats’ under ‘Paste Options.’
- Add Gradients: Highlight cells, click on “Conditional Formatting,” choose “Color Scales,” and pick your palette.
- Customize Colors: Not satisfied? Go to ‘Home’ and click the arrow next to your ‘Fill’ button, then select “More Colors…”.
- Advanced Customizations: For even more options, click ‘Format Cells’ & go to the ‘Fill’ tab.
Spreadsheets all day? Add some colour! It makes data easier to read quickly and helps with analysis. Be careful not to make colours too bright, as this can make text unreadable.
Pro Tip: Use Conditional Formatting to apply fill colours to selected values, instead of doing it manually.
Also try the Wrap Text function to break up text within a cell, making it much more readable.
Keep an eye out for more hacks!
Control Text Display with Wrap Text Function
Five tips to remember when using Wrap Text Function:
- In the Format Cells dialog box, you’ll find the Wrap Text option under the Alignment tab.
- Once activated, Wrap Text will adjust the height of the cell and display all content.
- You can also specify custom column widths to limit how much text is visible before it wraps.
- To align multiple lines of text vertically, use “Wrap Text” and “Merge Cells” together.
- Be aware that using Wrap Text on large data sets may slow down performance.
When using Wrap Text Function, use simple language and talk directly to your reader. This will allow them to understand and follow your instructions easily.
Pro Tip: To format a table with each record separated by a blank row, first select all the data, then select rows. Press the Filter button under the Data tab, then press Alt + ; to select visible cells only. After formatting, delete the blank rows again.
Now that we’ve discussed mastering Excel’s text formatting features, let’s move on.
Text Formatting Mastery
Ever spent an entire afternoon formatting an Excel spreadsheet? Font sizes, text alignment, cell borders – tedious process, to say the least. But here’s a shortcut to help. Three crucial shortcuts that can save hours of formatting time.
Master text formatting in Excel with these three favorite shortcuts:
- Start with aligning text vertically & horizontally.
- Explore font type & size impact on spreadsheet.
- Finally, make data stand out with cell borders.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by David Duncun
Align Text Perfectly with Vertical and Horizontal Options
Up your text formatting game in Excel! Align your cells perfectly for a professional look. Here’s a 5-step guide:
- Select cells you want to align.
- Click Home tab in ribbon.
- In Alignment group, choose either Align Left or Align Right (horizontal) or Top Align or Bottom Align (vertical).
- For customization, click Alignment Settings arrow.
- Adjust settings like indenting or rotating text.
Aligning columns of numbers along decimal points make it easier to read and compare values. For quick toggle of alignment, use Ctrl + 1 (Windows) or Command + 1 (Mac).
Excel offers two types of text alignment: vertical and horizontal. Vertical option positions content within each cell. Horizontal sets text orientation left/right or center. Master these alignment options for easier and more aesthetically pleasing spreadsheets.
Font type and size tweaks can also help create visually appealing spreadsheets. Excel offers several font options that vary in style and size. Choose a classic serif font like Times New Roman for serious financial reports. Arial looks great in larger headings and remains legible in smaller body text. Experiment with different combinations until you find what works best.
Elevate Your Spreadsheets with Font Type and Size Tweaks
Make your spreadsheets stand out by adjusting font types and sizes. Focusing on data entry can make you forget about formatting. Changing fonts can make spreadsheets easier to read and look better.
Choose legible fonts like Calibri or Arial. These are easy to see and well-known. Avoid fancy or ornate fonts, as these can be difficult to read.
Adjust font sizes for readability. Use 10-12 points for standard text and 14-16 points for headers or titles. If there’s a lot of content, smaller font sizes might be needed.
Use bold and italicized fonts sparingly. This will help emphasize important information without taking away from the content. For example, bold key numbers or terms.
A lot of thought goes into making spreadsheets look good. Fun fact: Verdana was designed by Matthew Carter at Microsoft for small digital screens. It was made so characters would remain clear even at lower resolutions.
Take a bit of extra time to adjust font types and sizes. This will make spreadsheets easier to read and look more professional.
Emphasize Cells with Borders to Make Your Data Stand Out
In order to add a border around a cell or range, go to the “Home” tab and click on the “Borders” button in the “Font” group.
Then select “More Borders” at the bottom of the drop-down menu.
Choose a style such as thick or thin lines and dotted or solid lines.
Click on each side of the cell where you want to apply the border.
Once you’ve chosen the settings, click OK to apply them.
Repeat these steps as needed for other cells or ranges.
When dealing with complex data sets, borders help create clarity. They make reading rows more manageable and hide irrelevant information. Highlighting significant parts brings attention quickly and makes decisions 53% faster, according to Forbes. Borders allow you to emphasize cells, present data in a meaningful way, and draw conclusions faster.
FAQs about The 3 Best Excel Formatting Shortcuts Everyone Should Know
What are the 3 best Excel formatting shortcuts everyone should know?
The three best Excel formatting shortcuts everyone should know are:
- Ctrl+1: This shortcut opens the cell format dialog box, allowing you to quickly change the appearance of selected cells
- Ctrl+B: This shortcut bolds the selected cells
- Ctrl+Shift+~: This shortcut applies the General number format to selected cells, displaying the values as they were entered
Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.