Excel Tutorial: How To Make Excel Table Look Professional


Creating professional-looking Excel tables is essential for presenting data in a clear and visually appealing way. In this blog post, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to make your Excel tables look professional, including formatting tips, design strategies, and best practices.

  • Importance of professional-looking Excel tables
  • Overview of the blog post content

Key Takeaways

  • Professional-looking Excel tables are essential for presenting data clearly and visually appealing.
  • Formatting, color scheme, consistent layout, tables and charts, and data organization are key elements in creating professional-looking Excel tables.
  • Choosing the right font, utilizing cohesive color palette, and using conditional formatting can enhance the visual impact of Excel tables.
  • Consistent layout, clear organization, and visual representation through charts are important for creating professional-looking Excel tables.
  • Utilizing filters, sorting, and grouping data can improve data organization and analysis in Excel tables.


When it comes to making your Excel table look professional, formatting plays a crucial role. The right font, alignment, and borders can make a significant difference in the overall appearance of your table.

A. Choosing the right font and font size
  • Font: Select a clean and easy-to-read font such as Arial, Calibri, or Times New Roman. Avoid using decorative or script fonts as they can make your table appear cluttered and unprofessional.
  • Font size: The font size should be consistent throughout the table. It's best to use a font size between 10 to 12 for the body of the table, and slightly larger for the headers or titles.

B. Adjusting cell alignment and text wrapping
  • Alignment: Ensure that the text in each cell is aligned properly. Use left alignment for text and right alignment for numbers to create a neat and organized look.
  • Text wrapping: If your text is too long to fit in a single cell, make use of the text wrapping feature to display the entire content without distorting the cell size.

C. Using borders and gridlines effectively
  • Borders: Adding borders to your table can help differentiate between rows and columns, and also create a clean and structured appearance. Use borders sparingly and opt for thin lines for a professional look.
  • Gridlines: Gridlines can be used to visually separate the cells in your table. Consider adjusting the gridline color and style to complement the overall design of your table.

Color scheme

When it comes to making your Excel table look professional, the color scheme you choose plays a crucial role in the overall visual appeal. Here are a few tips to make sure your color scheme is on point.

A. Selecting a cohesive color palette
  • Start by choosing a primary color that will serve as the base for your table. This color should be visually appealing and easy on the eyes.
  • Once you have your primary color, select 2-3 complementary colors to use for highlighting, borders, and accents. Make sure these colors work well together and create a cohesive look.
  • Consider using color palettes from reputable sources or tools like Adobe Color Wheel to ensure your color choices are harmonious and professional-looking.

B. Using conditional formatting for visual impact
  • Conditional formatting is a powerful tool in Excel that allows you to automatically format cells based on certain criteria. This can be used to add visual impact to your table and make it look more professional.
  • Experiment with different conditional formatting options such as data bars, color scales, and icon sets to highlight important data points and make your table more visually appealing.
  • Be mindful of not overusing conditional formatting, as too much can make your table look cluttered and unprofessional. Use it sparingly to draw attention to key information.

Consistent and clear layout

Creating a professional-looking Excel table goes beyond just entering data. A consistent and clear layout is essential for making your table easy to read and understand.

A. Utilizing headers and subheaders

Headers and subheaders allow you to categorize and organize your data, making it easier for the reader to navigate through the table. Use bold formatting for headers and subheaders to make them stand out.

B. Aligning data consistently

Consistent alignment of data is crucial for a professional appearance. Whether you choose to align your data to the left, center, or right, make sure to apply the same alignment throughout the table.

C. Using indentation and bullet points for clarity

When presenting complex data or multiple levels of information, using indentation and bullet points can enhance clarity and readability. Indentation helps to visually distinguish different levels of information, while bullet points make it easier to digest key points.

Utilizing Tables and Charts

When it comes to making your Excel spreadsheet look professional, utilizing tables and charts is essential for presenting data in a clear and visually appealing way. In this section, we will discuss how to create and customize tables, as well as how to insert and format charts for visual representation.

A. Creating and Customizing Tables

Step 1: Create a Table

  • Highlight the range of cells that you want to include in your table.
  • Go to the "Insert" tab and click on "Table."
  • Ensure that the correct range is selected and click "OK."

Step 2: Customize Table Style

  • Click on the table and go to the "Table Design" tab.
  • Choose a table style that fits the aesthetic of your spreadsheet.
  • You can also customize the header row, total row, and banded rows to make the table more visually appealing.

B. Inserting and Formatting Charts for Visual Representation

Step 1: Insert a Chart

  • Select the data that you want to include in your chart.
  • Go to the "Insert" tab and choose the type of chart you want to insert.
  • Excel will automatically create a chart based on the selected data.

Step 2: Format the Chart

  • Click on the chart to activate the "Chart Tools" tab.
  • From here, you can customize the chart elements, change the chart style, and format the chart layout to make it more professional-looking.
  • Ensure that the chart is easy to read and interpret by adding titles, data labels, and legends.

Data organization

When it comes to making your Excel table look professional, data organization is key. By using the right tools and techniques, you can ensure that your data is easy to analyze and well-structured.

A. Using filters and sorting for easy data analysis

Filters and sorting functions are essential for managing and analyzing large sets of data in Excel. By using filters, you can easily narrow down your data to focus on specific criteria, making it easier to identify trends and patterns. Sorting allows you to arrange your data in a logical order, such as alphabetically or numerically, making it easier to read and understand.

B. Grouping and outlining data for better organization

Another way to make your Excel table look professional is by using grouping and outlining features. Grouping allows you to collapse and expand rows or columns, making it easier to focus on specific sections of your data. Outlining helps to create a hierarchical structure within your table, enabling you to see the big picture while still being able to drill down into the details when needed.


In conclusion, creating a professional-looking Excel table is achievable with the right tips and techniques. By using consistent formatting, clear headings, and appropriate colors and fonts, you can significantly improve the appearance of your tables. I encourage you to apply these tips to your own Excel tables and witness the difference it makes in presenting your data in a polished and professional manner.

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