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The Best Shortcut To Format Cells In Excel

##Key Takeaway:

Key Takeaway:

  • The Format Cells dialog box is the most comprehensive tool for formatting cells with precision, offering a wide range of options for text, numbers, and dates. Users can access the dialog box quickly using a keyboard shortcut or by right-clicking on a cell and selecting the Format Cells option.
  • Mastering number formatting in Excel is vital for achieving accuracy and clarity in numerical data. Configuring the number of decimal places, setting appropriate digits after the decimal point, and understanding and setting the date and time format are essential skills in formatting cells in Excel effectively.
  • Correct cell alignment is crucial for optimal readability and professional presentation. Perfecting horizontal text alignment and efficiently aligning text vertically are key skills in formatting cells in Excel. Adjusting the row height and column width can also help achieve the ideal cell alignment.
  • Creating professional cell borders is an excellent way to enhance the visual appeal and clarity of the spreadsheet. Follow some easy steps to add borders and customize them with colors for more impactful spreadsheets. Meanwhile, taking advantage of cell styles in Excel provides easy formatting and the customization needed to personalize spreadsheets for various uses.

Struggling to format cells in Excel? You don’t have to! Learn the easiest and fastest shortcut to format all your cells in no time. With this helpful tip, you can quickly transform your data into a polished and professional-looking document.

Best Practices for Formatting Cells in Excel

Formatting cells in Excel is a must! Let’s investigate the best way to do it. We’ll figure out how the Format Cells Dialog Box provides the best results. Plus, quick keyboard shortcuts will save lots of time. When you have these handy tricks, formatting spreadsheets will be easy!

Image credits: by James Woodhock

Utilizing the Format Cells Dialog Box for Optimal Formatting

If you wish to use Excel with optimal results, the Format Cells Dialog Box is your best bet! By using this feature, you can customize the font, number format, borders, alignment and other options. To use it: select the cell(s) you want to format, right-click on your mouse and choose “Format Cells” from the pop-up menu, or go to the Home tab and select “Format Cells” from the Format dropdown.

This feature makes it possible to customize anything you can imagine. Plus, it enables users to communicate data more effectively. For instance, a sales manager can color-code regions by making certain ones brighter than others.

You can also save time with the shortcut Ctrl + 1. Once I showed this to my colleague, she’s been utilizing it for everyday Excel tasks. Now, let’s talk about Quick and Efficient Keyboard Shortcuts for Formatting Cells…

Quick and Efficient Keyboard Shortcuts for Formatting Cells

Are you looking to quickly format cells in Excel? You can press “Ctrl + 1” or right-click, then choose “Format Cells” from the drop-down menu.

For faster number formatting, use this shortcut:

  • “Ctrl + Shift + !” for Comma style,
  • “Ctrl + Shift + $” for Currency,
  • and “Ctrl + Shift + %” for Percentage.

You can also insert today’s date quickly – just press “Ctrl + ;”.

For Bold text, press “Ctrl + B”. If any cells are locked, unlock them with “Ctrl+1 > Protection > unmark Locked”.

To copy formatting without duplicating content, select the source cell first, then press “Ctrl+Shift+C”. Paste this with Alt+E+S+T.

These shortcuts can save you time and effort. They have been popular since 1983 when Apple’s Lisa computer introduced them. So, why not master Number Formatting in Excel with these useful shortcuts?

Mastering Number Formatting in Excel

Excel users know how tough it is to customize. That’s why mastering number formatting is key for dealing with complex data. This section will share the best ways to format cells. We’ll explore configuring the number of decimal places for accuracy. Next, we’ll set the appropriate decimal point digits. Lastly, we’ll understand and set the date and time format. This is important for tracking timelines and events.

Mastering Number Formatting in Excel-The Best Shortcut to Format Cells in Excel,

Image credits: by Yuval Jones

Configuring the Number of Decimal Places for Better Accuracy

For optimal accuracy, users must keep 6 points in mind when configuring decimal places:

  1. Select a cell or range of cells.
  2. Press ‘Ctrl+1’ to open Format Cells dialogue box.
  3. Pick ‘Number’ and select a category/format type.
  4. Select decimal places options under ‘Decimal Places.’
  5. Click OK to apply changes.
  6. Check if changes are applied correctly.

Configuring Decimal Places provides better accuracy and confirms users’ understanding of the subject. This is especially important for financial analysts who work with spreadsheets daily.

According to Investopedia, “High sensitivity is needed when modeling variances by tenths or hundredths.” So, Setting the Appropriate Number of Digits after the Decimal Point is essential for precision in charts and graphs.

Setting the Appropriate Number of Digits after the Decimal Point

Need to format numerical data in Excel? Precision is key! Here’s how to set the appropriate number of digits after the decimal point:

  1. Select the cell or range of cells you wish to format
  2. Right-click and choose ‘Format Cells’
  3. Choose the ‘Number’ tab
  4. Enter the correct number of digits for the ‘Decimal Places’ field
  5. Click ‘OK’ to apply changes
  6. Check results to make sure they display correctly

Aim for two or three decimal places for accuracy and legibility. Also, try to remove any unnecessary decimal places. For example, set a default value of zero-point-zero-zero if all values in a given column have that ending.

Once you’ve mastered setting the appropriate number of digits after the decimal point, try understanding and setting the date and time format. This will help you handle time-based data like deadlines and meetings schedules, even in large datasets.

Understanding and Setting the Date and Time Format

Let’s look at how to set up dates in Excel.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to format. Example: A1:B1. Output: Mar-24-2022.
  2. Right-click, then select ‘Format Cells’ or press Ctrl + 1.
  3. In the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box, select ‘Date’ from the Category list.
  4. Choose your desired date format from the Type list. Example: dd-mmm-yyyy. Output: Mar-24-2022.
  5. Step 5 (Optional): Customize your date format using additional options available. Example: [h]:mm AM/PM. Output: [5]:25 PM.

Fun Fact: Did you know Microsoft Excel considers January 0 as December? So when you type a date like “01/05/2022,” Excel counts it as January since January is represented by zero (0).

Now, let’s move on to our next topic – Achieving Ideal Cell Alignment in Excel.

Achieving Ideal Cell Alignment in Excel

Are you a user of Excel and have trouble aligning the cells of your spreadsheet? Perfecting cell alignment in Excel is important for presenting data well. Here, we’ll talk about two sections to help you master this.

  1. Firstly, perfecting horizontal text alignment for easy reading.
  2. Secondly, efficiently aligning text vertically for better presentation.

We’ll provide tips and tricks to make your data more readable and presentable.

Achieving Ideal Cell Alignment in Excel-The Best Shortcut to Format Cells in Excel,

Image credits: by Harry Duncun

Perfecting Horizontal Text Alignment for Optimal Readability


For optimal readability, apply left-aligned formatting to your data. This creates a visible edge on which your eyes can rest.

Centering text looks nice, but is not as practical for tables of numbers or dates.

Merged cells may look tempting, but can cause problems with sorting and filtering. Also, merged cells will create invalid formulas if used together with referenced cells that are not merged.

To align text vertically for improved presentation, follow these steps:

  1. Step 1: Highlight any cells you want to format.
  2. Step 2: Click on the “Home” tab.
  3. Step 3: Select the horizontal alignment settings you want from the “Alignment” group.

Efficiently Aligning Text Vertically for Improved Presentation

Aligning text vertically boosts the presentation of your Excel sheets. It makes reading data easier. Avoid awkward gaps by adjusting the column width or height.

Follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells.
  2. Right-click and choose ‘Format Cells’.
  3. Go to the Alignment tab in the Format Cells dialog box.
  4. Select the desired alignment – top, center, bottom, etc.
  5. Click Ok to apply changes.
  6. Use keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1 for the Format Cells dialog box.

Also, for merged cells, make sure all content fits without overlapping. Professional Cell Borders in Excel further enhances designing skills.

Creating Professional Cell Borders in Excel

Creating professional-looking spreadsheets in Excel? Formatting can make a difference. Cell borders are one key aspect that can elevate your spreadsheet game. This part of the article will teach how to create a polished look with just a few simple border tricks.

  1. Add borders for visual appeal and clarity.
  2. Dive into customization options. Learn how to add color for more impactful spreadsheets.

By the end, you’ll be able to impress colleagues and clients with your Excel skills!

Creating Professional Cell Borders in Excel-The Best Shortcut to Format Cells in Excel,

Image credits: by Harry Jones

Easy Steps to Add Borders for Visual Appeal and Clarity

Adding borders to your Excel spreadsheets can be quick and simple! Here’s how:

  1. Select the cells.
  2. Go to ‘Home’ in the ribbon menu.
  3. Click the ‘Borders’ dropdown in the ‘Font’ group.
  4. Choose your preferred line style, like ‘Thick Box Border’.
  5. Pick the individual border lines you want, like a bottom border or all borders.
  6. Click ‘OK’.

Now that you know how to add borders, let’s get into some tips and tricks. Remember, they’re for visual appeal and clarity – not every cell should have one. Focus on important areas like column and row headers, tables, graphs, and charts.

By doing this, you’ll create an organized layout with emphasis where you need it! Ancient Egyptians even used this approach; they had papyrus rolls with ruled horizontal lines for each section of text.

So, let’s move forward and learn about customizing cell borders with color for more impactful spreadsheets!

Customizing Cell Borders with Color for More Impactful Spreadsheets

To customize cells, click and drag the mouse over them.

Then, go to ‘Home’ tab. Click the small arrow near ‘Borders’ button. This will open a drop-down menu with various border styles and colors.

Choose a style and color with the mouse. You can pick different styles and colors for different parts of the cells.

Cell Borders with Color make your data stand out and help distinguish sections. Using this formatting option can make spreadsheets look professional and easier to read. Customized cell borders also add an extra layer of organization.

Using colors and customized cell borders increases readability. This helps stakeholders quickly understand the data. If ignored, users may be less interested in the data.

Don’t let unformatted excel sheets stop you from communicating! Use these customizations, be creative, experiment with different colors and borders and let them help you make great spreadsheets!

Now, let’s take a closer look at another formatting shortcut – “Taking Advantage of Cell Styles in Excel“.

Taking Advantage of Cell Styles in Excel

Excel can be powerful in the workplace. But it can also be overwhelming. That’s why learning the best shortcuts for formatting cells is helpful. My favorite shortcut is the cell styles gallery. It provides pre-designed styles to choose from. It makes formatting cells easy and consistent. If you want more personalized spreadsheets, create custom cell styles. Let’s look at both options and how they can make your Excel game better.

Save time and gain consistency in your spreadsheets with this 5-step guide to the Cell Styles Gallery!

  1. Select the range of cells you want to format.
  2. Go to the “Home” tab in Microsoft Excel.
  3. Look for “Cell Styles” in the “Styles” group.
  4. Preview each style option by hovering and select the one that suits you.
  5. Click on it once and watch as your selected cells adopt the formatting.

You can also create your own unique styling by customising the font size and background colour. Plus, you get to preview your chosen formatting before applying it.

“I used to manually adjust every single cell in my spreadsheet until I found this shortcut. It was life-changing! I was saving time and the work looked more professional. I now use this method for all large amounts of data. Try it and see for yourself!”

Creating Custom Cell Styles for More Personalized Spreadsheets

Create custom cell styles in a few steps:

  1. Select the cells to format.
  2. Go to ‘Home’ tab > ‘Styles’ group > click ‘Cell Styles’.
  3. Pick a pre-defined style or ‘New Cell Style’.
  4. Edit formatting options (font, color, borders, fill, etc.).
  5. Name the style and click OK.
  6. Apply the custom cell style to other cells or ranges.

Benefits of custom cell styles:

  1. Save time by avoiding repeated formatting.
  2. Ensure consistency across different workbooks.
  3. Add a personal touch to spreadsheets.


  • Use descriptive names for styles.
  • Try different formatting options.
  • Create separate styles for different data types.
  • Share custom styles with colleagues.

Five Facts About the Best Shortcut to Format Cells in Excel:

  • ✅ The best shortcut to format cells in Excel is “Ctrl + Shift + F.” (Source: Excel Jet)
  • ✅ This shortcut opens the “Format Cells” dialogue box, allowing users to quickly customize the formatting of their cell data. (Source: Excel Campus)
  • ✅ The “Ctrl + Shift + F” shortcut is especially helpful for formatting numbers in currency or percentage formats. (Source: Ablebits)
  • ✅ Excel also offers several pre-set formatting options accessible through the “Ctrl + 1” shortcut. (Source: Excel Easy)
  • ✅ Custom formatting options can also be saved as templates for future use. (Source: Microsoft Support)

FAQs about The Best Shortcut To Format Cells In Excel

What is the best shortcut to format cells in Excel?

The best shortcut to format cells in Excel is to use the “Ctrl + 1” key combination. This will bring up the Format Cells dialog box, where you can easily customize the formatting options for your selected cells.

What are some useful formatting options available in Excel?

Excel offers a wide range of formatting options, including font styles, sizes, and colors, cell borders and shading, number formatting, and alignment options. You can also create custom cell styles to quickly format cells with the same properties.

How can I quickly apply a specific cell format to multiple cells?

One way to quickly apply a specific cell format to multiple cells is by using the Format Painter tool. Simply select the cell with the desired format, click on the Format Painter button on the Home tab, and then click on the cells you want to apply the format to.

What is the shortcut to quickly add and remove borders around cells?

The shortcut to quickly add and remove borders around cells is “Alt + H + B”. This will bring up the Border menu, where you can choose from a variety of border styles and apply them to your selected cells.

Can I save my custom formatting options for future use?

Yes, Excel allows you to save your custom cell styles and formatting options for future use. Simply right-click on a cell that has the desired formatting, select “Create a Style”, and then give your new style a name. Your custom style will now be available in the “Cell Styles” gallery on the Home tab.

How can I quickly remove all formatting from a cell or range of cells?

To quickly remove all formatting from a cell or range of cells, simply use the “Ctrl + Shift + Z” key combination. This will undo all formatting changes and return the selected cells to their default formatting.