Skip to main content

Microsoft Office: Working With Cells

Change Cell Colors

Change cell background color(s)
1. Click in the cell or highlight a group of cells whose background color you wish to change
2. Navigate to the Font group in the Home Tab and select the paintbucket icon to expand its menu of options
3. From the paintbucket icon’s menu of colors, choose a color from the palette.
4. Note: to select all cells in a worksheet to change background color, click the box between Column A; Row 1.


Insert Rows & Columns

Insert or Delete a Row or Column into a Worksheet
1. To insert a row, click the number that corresponds with the row below the row you wish to insert to highlight the entire row


2. To insert a column, click the letter that corresponds with the column to the left of the column you wish to insert
3. Navigate to the Cells group from the Home Tab
4. Expand the Insert menu
5. Select the option for Insert Cells

Merge & Center

Merge and Center Data Across Columns
1. Select the cell containing the text you want to center and include the cells you want to center the text across
     a. Select cells by holding and dragging mouse across
     b. As you drag your mouse across the cells, the column headings for those cells should highlight automatically
2. Navigate to the Home Tab on the Microsoft Office Ribbon
3. Navigate to the Alignment Group
4. Within the Alignment Group, select the icon for Merge & Center


Formatting Cells

Creating Borders Around Cells
1. To apply or remove cell borders on a worksheet, select the cell or range
of cells you want to add a border to, change the border style on or remove a border from:
2. To apply a new or different border style, navigate to the the Font group within the Home Tab
3. From the Font group, click on the borders icon to expand and choose from the list of available borders in the drop-down menu


4. To remove cell borders, click the borders icon on the Font group above the worksheet and click No Border on the palette.

Cell Size & Text Positioning

Change the column width, row and height
1. Change the column width to fit the contents by selecting the column or columns you want to change

2. Point to Cells group on the Home Tab, from the drop-down menu, click under the Format option, select Autofit Row Height and/or Autofit Column Width under the Cell Side heading
3. To autofit all columns on the worksheet, click the Select All button and then double-click any boundary between two column headings
4. To autofit all rows on the worksheet, click the Select All button and then double-click the boundary one of the row headings.

Cell size and text positioning – Wrap text in a cell
1. Select the cells you want to format
2. On the Home tab, navigate to the Alignment group


3. From the Alignment group, select the icon for Wrap Text (the icon on the upper-most top-right corner in the grouping)

Numbers Format

Number formats   
By applying different number formats you can change the appearance of numbers without changing the number behind the appearance.
1. Navigate to the the Number group of the Home Tab


2. Expand the Number group so that the Format Cells Dialog Box opens with the Numbers tab depressed and choose the type of number format you need: date, currency, etc. and choose style within each number format:




Show zeros as first value in a string of numbers
1. Click in the cell (or row/column of cells) in which you want to type the string of numbers that begin with the zero (such as a zip code)
2. Navigate to the Numbers grouping with the Home Tab
3. Expand the Numbers group by left clicking once on the down arrow located in the right hand corner of the group’s box
4. The Format Cells dialog box will open
5. Make sure the numbers tab is depressed
6. Navigate to the option for Special within Category menu located on the left side of the dialog box
7. Highlight the option for Special
8. Under Type, select: Zip Code, SSN, etc.
9. Once the selection is made, click OK to close out of the dialogue box