Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Grid In Excel 2013


When it comes to organizing data and creating clear, easy-to-read spreadsheets, grids are an essential tool in Excel 2013. Whether you're tracking sales, managing inventory, or simply keeping track of your personal finances, using a grid helps you maintain visual clarity and structure in your data. In this tutorial, we will cover the steps to create a grid in Excel 2013 and how to customize it to suit your specific needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Grids are essential for maintaining visual clarity and structure in data in Excel 2013.
  • Understanding the Excel grid system involves knowledge of rows, columns, and how to adjust their size.
  • Creating a basic grid in Excel involves inputting data into individual cells and formatting them to create a grid-like appearance.
  • Utilizing gridlines in Excel can improve visualization, and they can be customized for appearance and style.
  • Advanced grid techniques in Excel include merging cells to create larger sections and using borders to emphasize the grid structure.

Understanding the Excel grid system

In Excel, the grid system is made up of rows and columns, which intersect to form cells. This grid system is the foundation of organizing and managing data in Excel.

A. Explanation of rows and columns in Excel

Rows run horizontally from left to right, and are identified by numbers (e.g. 1, 2, 3). Columns run vertically from top to bottom, and are identified by letters (e.g. A, B, C). Each intersection of a row and column creates a cell, where data can be entered or calculated.

B. How to adjust the size of rows and columns

Adjusting the size of rows and columns can help in fitting more data into cells and making the spreadsheet visually appealing.

  • Adjusting row height: To adjust the height of a row, place the cursor on the edge of the row header, and drag it up or down to the desired size.
  • Adjusting column width: To adjust the width of a column, place the cursor on the edge of the column header, and drag it left or right to the desired size.

Alternatively, you can use the "Format" option in the "Home" tab to specify the exact size for rows and columns.

Creating a basic grid in Excel

Excel is a powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data, and one of the most common ways to do this is by creating a grid. Here's how to create a basic grid in Excel 2013.

A. How to input data into individual cells
  • Selecting a cell

    To input data into a cell, simply click on the cell where you want to enter the data. The active cell will be highlighted, and you can start typing immediately.

  • Inputting data

    Once you have selected a cell, you can input data by typing directly into the cell. You can enter text, numbers, dates, or formulas, depending on your needs.

  • Navigating to other cells

    To move to a different cell, you can use the arrow keys on your keyboard or click on the desired cell with your mouse. You can also use keyboard shortcuts to quickly navigate around the grid.

B. Formatting cells to create a grid-like appearance
  • Adjusting cell size

    To create a grid-like appearance, you may want to adjust the size of the cells. You can do this by clicking and dragging the borders of the cells to make them larger or smaller.

  • Adding borders

    To make your grid more visually distinct, you can add borders to the cells. To do this, select the cells you want to format, and then go to the "Home" tab and click on the "Borders" button to choose the desired border style.

  • Using gridlines

    Excel automatically displays gridlines to separate cells, but you can customize the appearance of these gridlines by going to the "View" tab and checking or unchecking the "Gridlines" option.

Utilizing gridlines in Excel

Excel gridlines are the horizontal and vertical lines that separate cells from each other. They are a crucial part of organizing and visualizing data in Excel spreadsheets. In this tutorial, we will explore how to enable and customize gridlines in Excel 2013 for better data presentation.

Enabling gridlines for easier visualization

To enable gridlines in Excel 2013, follow these simple steps:

  • Step 1: Open your Excel spreadsheet.
  • Step 2: Click on the "View" tab in the top menu.
  • Step 3: In the "Show" group, check the "Gridlines" option.
  • Step 4: The gridlines will now be displayed on your spreadsheet, making it easier to visualize the layout of your data.

Customizing gridline appearance and style

Excel 2013 also allows you to customize the appearance and style of the gridlines to suit your preferences. Here's how you can do it:

  • Step 1: Click on the "Page Layout" tab in the top menu.
  • Step 2: In the "Sheet Options" group, you can customize the gridline color, style, and weight using the "Gridlines" dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: You can also choose to hide or show gridlines when printing your spreadsheet by checking or unchecking the "Print" option in the same dropdown menu.
  • Step 4: Make sure to save your changes by clicking "Save" on the top menu to preserve your customized gridline settings.

By following these steps, you can easily enable and customize gridlines in Excel 2013, enhancing the visual appeal and readability of your spreadsheets.

Advanced grid techniques in Excel

Creating a grid in Excel 2013 is essential for organizing and presenting data in a clear and structured manner. While the basic grid structure is easy to set up, there are advanced techniques that can take your Excel grid to the next level.

Merging cells to create larger grid sections

One way to enhance your grid in Excel is by merging cells to create larger grid sections. This can be useful for labeling or highlighting specific sections of your data.

  • Merge and Center: Select the cells you want to merge, then click on the "Merge & Center" button in the Home tab. This will combine the selected cells into one larger cell and center the content within it.
  • Merge Across: If you want to merge cells across rows, select the cells and then click on the "Merge & Center" drop-down arrow and choose "Merge Across" option.
  • Merge Cells: For more advanced merging options, use the "Merge & Center" drop-down arrow and select "Merge Cells" to customize the merging process.

Using borders to emphasize the grid structure

Another way to make your Excel grid stand out is by using borders to emphasize the grid structure. Borders can help define the boundaries of your grid and make it easier to read and understand.

  • Draw Borders: Select the cells you want to add borders to, then click on the "Borders" button in the Home tab to choose from various border styles and customize the border settings.
  • Border Styles: Experiment with different border styles such as solid, dashed, or dotted lines to see which one suits your grid layout best.
  • Border Color and Thickness: You can also modify the color and thickness of the borders to make them more visually appealing and easier to differentiate.

Tips for maintaining and updating grids in Excel

When working with grids in Excel, it's important to have a system in place for maintaining and updating the data. Here are some tips to help you streamline the process:

A. Using formulas to automatically populate grid sections

One of the most efficient ways to maintain a grid in Excel is by using formulas to automatically populate certain sections. This can save you time and reduce the risk of errors. Here are some strategies for using formulas effectively:

  • 1. Use relative cell references: When creating formulas, use relative cell references instead of absolute references. This allows the formulas to adjust automatically when new data is added or existing data is updated.
  • 2. Utilize functions: Excel offers a wide range of functions that can help you automate calculations and data manipulation. Familiarize yourself with functions such as SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT, and VLOOKUP to streamline your grid maintenance process.
  • 3. Consider conditional formatting: Conditional formatting can be used to automatically highlight certain data points based on specified criteria. This can make it easier to identify trends or anomalies within your grid.

B. Strategies for managing and organizing large grids

Large grids in Excel can quickly become overwhelming if not properly managed and organized. Consider implementing the following strategies to keep your grids manageable:

  • 1. Use named ranges: Naming specific ranges within your grid can make it easier to reference and update the data. This can also help prevent errors when writing formulas or creating visualizations.
  • 2. Group and outline data: Excel offers features for grouping and outlining data, which can be particularly useful for large grids. Use this functionality to collapse and expand sections of your grid as needed, allowing you to focus on specific areas without being overwhelmed by the entire dataset.
  • 3. Implement data validation: To ensure data accuracy, consider implementing data validation rules within your grid. This can help prevent incorrect data entry and maintain the integrity of your dataset.


Overall, the grid function in Excel is an essential tool for organizing and analyzing data. The use of grids helps in aligning and formatting data, making it easier to read and understand.

As with any skill, practice makes perfect. I encourage you to continue exploring the different grid techniques in Excel 2013. The more you practice, the more comfortable and efficient you will become with using grids to enhance your Excel spreadsheets.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles