Excel Tutorial: How To Outline Text In Excel


Are you looking to add a professional touch to your Excel spreadsheets? Learning how to outline text in Excel can make your data stand out and become more visually appealing. In this tutorial, we will provide a brief overview of how to outline text in Excel and discuss the importance of using text outlines to enhance your worksheets.

Key Takeaways

  • Outlining text in Excel can make your data stand out and become more visually appealing.
  • Basic text outlining in Excel can help to improve the readability of your spreadsheets.
  • Advanced text outlining techniques, such as using different fonts and colors, can enhance the visual appeal of your data.
  • Creating custom outlines in Excel allows you to add creativity and personalization to your spreadsheets.
  • Effective text outlining in Excel involves keeping the outlines simple and clean, and choosing the right font and color combinations for better readability.

Basic Text Outlining in Excel

When working with Excel, outlining text can be a useful feature for organizing and emphasizing important information. Outlining text in Excel involves adding a border or outline around a cell or range of cells to make it stand out.

A. Explanation of the process of outlining text

The process of outlining text in Excel is fairly straightforward. To outline text, you can follow these steps:

  • Select the cell or range of cells where you want to outline the text.
  • Go to the "Home" tab on the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on the "Borders" dropdown menu in the "Font" group.
  • Select the desired outline style from the options available, such as a solid line, dashed line, or double line.

B. Benefits of using basic text outlining

There are several benefits to using basic text outlining in Excel, including:

  • Enhanced readability: Outlining text can help make important information stand out and be easily identifiable within a spreadsheet.
  • Organization: By outlining specific cells or ranges, you can visually organize your data and make it more visually appealing.
  • Emphasis: Outlining text can be used to emphasize key data points or headers, drawing attention to critical information.

Advanced Text Outlining Techniques

When it comes to outlining text in Excel, there are a few advanced techniques that can take your spreadsheets to the next level. In this tutorial, we will explore how to use different fonts and colors to enhance the visual impact of your outlined text.

Use of different fonts for outlining text

  • Step 1: Select the cell or range of cells that you want to outline.
  • Step 2: Go to the "Home" tab and click on the "Font" dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: Choose a different font for the text outline from the list of available fonts.
  • Step 4: Adjust the size and style of the font to achieve the desired outlining effect.

Adding colors to outlined text for better visualization

  • Step 1: Select the cell or range of cells with the outlined text.
  • Step 2: Navigate to the "Font Color" dropdown menu in the "Home" tab.
  • Step 3: Choose a color that contrasts well with the background to make the outlined text stand out.
  • Step 4: Experiment with different color combinations to achieve the best visual impact.

By using different fonts and colors to outline text in Excel, you can create visually appealing and easy-to-read spreadsheets that effectively communicate your data to your audience.

Creating Custom Outlines in Excel

When it comes to adding a creative touch to your Excel spreadsheets, outlining text can make a big impact. While Excel offers basic outlining options, you can take it a step further by creating custom outlines using shapes and adding creativity to your text outlines.

Using shapes to create custom outlines

  • Create a new worksheet: Open a new worksheet in Excel where you want to add the custom text outline.
  • Insert a shape: Go to the "Insert" tab and choose "Shapes." Select the shape you want to use for the outline.
  • Add text: Once the shape is inserted, click on it and type the text you want to outline.
  • Format the shape: Right-click on the shape and choose "Format Shape." You can customize the fill color, outline color, and other effects to enhance the look of the outline.
  • Position the outline: Move the shape to the desired location on the worksheet, and adjust the size if needed.

Adding creativity to custom text outlines

  • Experiment with different shapes: Explore various shapes and sizes to create unique text outlines that stand out in your spreadsheet.
  • Utilize gradient and texture fills: Instead of using solid colors, consider applying gradient or texture fills to the shapes for a more visually appealing outline.
  • Incorporate shadows and 3D effects: Add depth to your text outlines by applying shadows and 3D effects to the shapes, making them visually interesting.
  • Combine multiple shapes: Get creative by combining multiple shapes to form intricate text outlines, giving your spreadsheet a professional and polished look.

Incorporating Outlined Text in Charts and Graphs

Outlined text can be a powerful tool in data visualization, especially when creating charts and graphs in Excel. By incorporating outlined text, you can draw attention to specific data points, add emphasis to important information, and enhance the overall visual appeal of your visualizations.

1. Adding Outlined Text to Data Labels

  • Format Data Labels: In Excel, you can easily format data labels to include outlined text. Simply right-click on the data label, select "Format Data Labels," and then choose the "Text Options" tab to customize the outline settings.
  • Adjust Outline Properties: Once you've accessed the text options, you can adjust the outline properties, such as color, weight, and transparency, to achieve the desired visual effect.

2. Using Outlined Text in Chart Titles and Axis Labels

  • Customize Chart Titles: To incorporate outlined text in chart titles, you can select the title, go to the "Format" tab, and then modify the text outline settings under "Text Fill & Outline."
  • Enhance Axis Labels: Similarly, you can apply outlined text to axis labels by accessing the formatting options for the specific axis and adjusting the text outline settings.

Enhancing the Visual Appeal of Data with Outlined Text

When used strategically, outlined text can significantly enhance the visual appeal of your data visualizations, making them more engaging and impactful for your audience. Whether you're creating reports, presentations, or dashboards, outlining text in Excel can help you effectively communicate key insights and analysis.

1. Creating Contrast and Emphasis

  • Draw Attention: Outlined text can draw attention to specific data points or labels within your charts and graphs, making them stand out against the background and other elements.
  • Emphasize Key Information: By outlining text, you can emphasize key information, trends, or insights, guiding your audience's focus and reinforcing the significance of certain data elements.

2. Improving Readability and Clarity

  • Enhance Visibility: Outlining text can improve visibility and readability, especially when working with complex or crowded visualizations, ensuring that the information remains clear and legible.
  • Define Boundaries: Outlined text can help define boundaries and differentiate between different data categories or segments, providing a visual framework for interpreting the information.

Tips for Effective Text Outlining in Excel

When it comes to outlining text in Excel, there are a few key tips to keep in mind in order to create a professional and polished look. Here are some best practices to follow:

A. Keeping the outlines simple and clean

  • Use consistent formatting: When outlining text in Excel, it’s important to maintain a consistent and uniform style throughout the document. This helps to create a clean and professional look.
  • Avoid overdoing it: While it may be tempting to use a variety of outline styles and formatting options, it’s best to keep it simple. Too many different outline styles can make the document look cluttered and confusing.
  • Keep it organized: Use clear headings and subheadings to organize the outlined text. This helps to make the content easy to follow and understand.

B. Choosing the right font and color combinations for better readability

  • Consider readability: When outlining text, it’s important to choose font and color combinations that are easy to read. Avoid using overly decorative or difficult-to-read fonts, and ensure that the text color provides enough contrast with the background.
  • Use complementary colors: When outlining text, consider using complementary color combinations to make the text stand out. For example, using a dark font color on a light background, or vice versa, can improve readability and visual appeal.
  • Test different options: Experiment with different font and color combinations to find the best option for your specific document. What works well for one document may not be ideal for another, so it’s important to test and adjust as needed.


Recap: Outlining text in Excel can help make your data stand out and be more visually appealing. It can also assist in emphasizing important information and creating a more organized spreadsheet.

Encouragement: I encourage you to experiment with different outlining techniques in Excel to see which one works best for your specific needs. Whether it's adding borders to cells, using the 'Outline' feature, or customizing the font settings, you have the flexibility to create a professional and polished look for your Excel spreadsheets.

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