Excel Tutorial: How To Change Format In Excel


When it comes to working with data in Excel, formatting is key. Proper formatting can make your data easier to read and understand, as well as make it visually appealing. In this tutorial, we will explore the importance of formatting in Excel and briefly discuss the different ways formatting can be changed to meet your needs.

  • Cell formatting
  • Number formatting
  • Conditional formatting

Key Takeaways

  • Proper formatting is essential for making data in Excel easier to read and understand.
  • There are different ways to change formatting in Excel, including cell formatting, number formatting, conditional formatting, and more.
  • Cell formatting involves elements such as font, color, and borders, which can be customized to meet specific needs.
  • Number formatting includes options for currency, date, percentage, and more, and can be changed for single cells or ranges of cells.
  • Conditional formatting allows for the highlighting of specific data points, making it easier to identify important information within a dataset.

Understanding Cell Formatting

A. Define cell formatting in Excel

Cell formatting in Excel refers to the visual appearance of a cell, including its font, color, alignment, borders, and other stylistic elements. It allows users to customize the look and feel of their data to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand.

B. Explain the different elements of cell formatting (font, color, borders, etc.)

  • Font: This includes the typeface, size, and style of the text within a cell.
  • Color: Users can change the background color of a cell, as well as the font color, to add emphasis or differentiate data points.
  • Borders: Borders can be added to cells to create visual separation between different sections of a worksheet.
  • Alignment: This refers to how the text within a cell is positioned, whether it's left-aligned, right-aligned, centered, or justified.
  • Number format: Users can specify how numbers are displayed, such as currency, percentage, or date formats.

C. Provide examples of when formatting changes can be useful

Formatting changes can be useful in a variety of scenarios, such as:

  • Highlighting important data: By using bold, italic, or colored text, users can draw attention to key data points.
  • Improving readability: Adjusting font size and alignment can make it easier for readers to understand the information presented in a worksheet.
  • Creating professional-looking reports: Consistent formatting can make reports and presentations look more polished and cohesive.

Changing Number Formatting

When working with Excel, it's important to know how to change the number formatting to suit your needs. Whether you're dealing with currency, dates, percentages, or other types of numbers, Excel provides the flexibility to customize the formatting to meet your specific requirements.

Different Types of Number Formats

Excel offers a variety of number formats, including:

  • Currency: Used for monetary values
  • Date: Used for dates and times
  • Percentage: Used for displaying numbers as percentages
  • General: Default format for numbers
  • Custom: Allows for customized formatting options

Changing Number Formatting for Cells

Changing the number formatting for a single cell or a range of cells is a simple process in Excel.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Changing Number Formats

To change the number formatting in Excel, follow these steps:

  • Select the cell or range of cells for which you want to change the formatting
  • Right-click and choose "Format Cells" from the context menu
  • In the Format Cells dialog box, go to the "Number" tab
  • Choose the desired number format from the list of options, or select "Custom" to create a custom number format
  • Click "OK" to apply the new formatting to the selected cells

By following these simple steps, you can easily change the number formatting in Excel to better fit your data and make it more visually appealing and understandable.

Modifying Font and Alignment

When working with data in Excel, it is essential to pay attention to the font and alignment in order to present your information in a clear and professional manner. Making changes to the font and alignment can enhance the readability and visual appeal of your data.

Discuss the importance of font and alignment in presenting data

The font and alignment of your text can greatly impact the way your data is perceived by others. Choosing the right font and alignment can make your data easier to read, understand, and interpret. It can also help to create a consistent and professional look for your spreadsheets.

Explain how to change font type, size, and style

Changing the font type, size, and style in Excel is a simple process. To modify the font, select the cells or range of cells you want to format, then go to the Home tab, and choose the font type, size, and style from the Font group. You can also use the shortcut keys to quickly change the font settings.

Provide examples of when aligning text can improve the presentation of data

Aligning text in Excel can greatly improve the presentation of your data. For example, aligning column headers to the left and numbers to the right can make it easier for readers to quickly scan and interpret the information. Additionally, aligning text within a cell can help to create a more organized and visually appealing layout for your data.

Utilizing Conditional Formatting

Define conditional formatting: Conditional formatting is a feature in Microsoft Excel that allows users to apply formatting to cells based on specified criteria. This can include highlighting, bolding, italicizing, or even adding specific icons or data bars to visually represent the data.

Explain how to use conditional formatting to highlight specific data points: To use conditional formatting to highlight specific data points, users can select the range of cells they want to apply the formatting to and then choose the "Conditional Formatting" option from the Home tab in the Excel ribbon. From there, they can set the specific conditions and formatting options they want to apply.

Provide examples of when conditional formatting can be helpful: Conditional formatting can be helpful in a variety of scenarios, such as identifying outliers in a dataset, highlighting expired dates or upcoming deadlines, comparing performance metrics, or even visually categorizing data based on specific criteria.


  • Highlighting cells that contain values above or below a certain threshold
  • Color-coding data based on priority or status (e.g., red for overdue, green for on track, yellow for pending)
  • Applying data bars to visually represent the magnitude of values in a range of cells
  • Adding icons to signify trends or patterns within the data

Working with Cell Styles

Cell styles in Excel can greatly enhance the visual appeal and organization of your spreadsheet. They allow you to apply a consistent format to cells, making it easy to create a professional-looking document. In this chapter, we will discuss the benefits of using cell styles, how to apply and customize them, and provide tips for creating a consistent and professional-looking spreadsheet.

A. Discuss the benefits of using cell styles in Excel
  • Consistency:

    Cell styles ensure that your spreadsheet has a uniform and professional appearance, making it easier for others to read and understand.
  • Time-saving:

    Applying pre-defined cell styles can save you time and effort, especially when formatting large sets of data.
  • Customization:

    Cell styles can be customized to match your specific preferences and branding, allowing you to create a unique look for your spreadsheet.

B. Explain how to apply and customize cell styles
  • Applying Cell Styles:

    To apply a cell style, select the cells you want to format, then go to the "Styles" group on the "Home" tab, and choose a style from the dropdown menu.
  • Customizing Cell Styles:

    You can customize a cell style by right-clicking on the style you want to modify, selecting "Modify," and then adjusting the formatting options such as font, border, and fill.

C. Provide tips for creating a consistent and professional-looking spreadsheet using cell styles
  • Use a Limited Number of Styles:

    Avoid using too many different styles in your spreadsheet, as this can make it look cluttered. Stick to a few key styles for consistency.
  • Match Your Branding:

    Customize cell styles to match your company's branding, using specific colors, fonts, and border styles to create a cohesive look.
  • Apply Styles to Headers and Totals:

    Use cell styles for headers, subtotals, and totals to make them stand out and improve the readability of your spreadsheet.


In summary, we have learned several different ways to change formatting in Excel, including modifying font styles, adjusting cell borders, and applying custom number formats. By experimenting with these options, you can create visually appealing and easy-to-read spreadsheets. I encourage you to practice and experiment with different formatting options to become more comfortable with using Excel for your data presentation needs.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles