How to use and create cell styles in Microsoft Excel

How to use and create cell styles in Microsoft Excel

There are many ways to format Excel spreadsheets. From automatic conditional formatting to simply copying from another cell, we take shortcuts to quickly format our sheets. Another wonderful feature for formatting in Microsoft Excel is a cell style.

Cell styles in Excel combine multiple formats. For example, you might have a yellow fill color, a bold font, a number format, and a cell border in one style. This allows you to quickly apply multiple formats to cells while adding consistency to the look of your sheet.

Apply a predefined cell style in Excel

Excel does a good job of offering many predefined cell styles that you can use. These cover everything from color and accent color titles and headings, to currency and number formats.

To view and apply a cell style, start by selecting a cell or a range of cells. Go to the Home tab and click “Cell Styles” in the Styles section of the ribbon. Click any style to apply it to your cells.

On the Home tab, click Cell Styles and choose one

Create a custom cell style in Excel

While there are many built-in cell styles to choose from, you may prefer to create your own. This allows you to choose the exact formats you want to use and then easily reuse that cell style.

Go to the Home tab, click on “Cell Styles” and choose “New Cell Style”.

Click Cell Styles and select New Cell Style

Name your custom style at the top of the Style box. Then, click “Format”.

Name the style and click Format

In the Format Cells window, use the various tabs to select the styles for number, font, border and fill as you want them to be applied. For example, we will create My Custom Style and use a currency number format, a bold and italic font, an outline border, and a gray dotted fill pattern.

Once you have chosen the formats you want, click “OK”, which takes you back to the Style window.

Choose the formats for the style

In the Style includes section, you will see the formats you just chose. Uncheck any formats you don’t want to use and click “OK” when done.

Deselect all cell-style items

To use your own custom cell style, select the cells, go to the Home tab and click “Cell Styles”. You should see your newly created style at the top of the selection box under Custom. Click to apply it to cells.

Click Cell Styles and choose your custom style

Note: a cell style you create is available in all your spreadsheets, but only in the Excel workbook you create it in.

Edit a cell style

If you want to make changes to a custom cell style you’ve created or even a predefined style, go back to the Home tab. Click “Cell Styles”, right click on the style you want to change and select “Edit”.

Right-click and select Edit

When the Style window opens, click “Format” to make changes in the Format Cells window, then click “OK”. Make further changes in the Style window, such as entering a new name if you are editing a predefined style, then click “OK” there as well.

Custom cell style changed in Excel

You can also delete a custom style you have created by choosing “Delete” instead of “Edit” in the context menu.

Right-click and select Delete

Remove a cell style

If you later decide to remove a cell style you’ve applied, it only takes a few clicks to do so.

Select the cells and return to the Home tab. Click on “Cell Styles” and choose “Normal” at the top under Good, Bad and Neutral.

Click Cell Styles and select Normal

Make your spreadsheet look attractive and consistent with predefined or custom cell styles in Microsoft Excel!

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