Applying Borders to Cells in Excel: Make Spreadsheets Pop!

Applying borders to cells in Excel is a simple yet effective way to give your spreadsheets a polished and organized look. By setting borders, you can define different sections, highlight important data, or simply make your table more visually appealing. In less than a minute, you can transform a plain data set into a structured and professional-looking document. Want to learn how? Let’s dive in.

Step by Step Tutorial: Applying Borders to Cells in Excel

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of adding borders, it’s important to understand why we’re doing this. Applying borders to your Excel cells can help visually separate data, making your spreadsheet easier to read and navigate. It can also add a touch of professionalism to your work. Ready to make your spreadsheets stand out?

Step 1: Select the Cells

Click and drag to select the cells you want to apply borders to.
Once you’ve selected the cells, you’ll notice they are highlighted, indicating that any changes you make will only affect those specific cells.

Step 2: Navigate to the Borders Menu

Go to the ‘Home’ tab and find the ‘Font’ group, then click on the ‘Borders’ icon.
This will open a dropdown menu with various border options, including different line styles and placements. Choose the one that best fits your needs.

Step 3: Choose the Border Style

Select the border style you want to use from the dropdown menu.
You can choose between different line thicknesses, dash styles, and even colors. Think about the purpose of the borders and select a style that enhances the data’s readability.

Step 4: Apply the Borders

Click on the border style you want, and it will automatically be applied to the selected cells.
After applying the borders, you’ll immediately see them on your spreadsheet. If you’re not satisfied with the look, you can always go back and change the style or remove the borders completely.

After completing these steps, your selected cells will now have borders, making your spreadsheet look more structured and easier to understand.

Tips for Applying Borders to Cells in Excel

  • For a clean and uniform look, use the same border style for cells that are related or within the same section.
  • If you’re working with a large dataset, apply borders to headers or key rows/columns to make them stand out.
  • Use different border colors to categorize data or indicate different levels of importance.
  • Don’t overdo it with borders; too many can make your spreadsheet look cluttered and confusing.
  • Remember to consider the printability of your borders, as some styles and colors may not translate well when printed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply borders to merged cells?

Yes, you can apply borders to merged cells just like you would with regular cells. Just select the merged cell and follow the same steps.

How do I remove borders from cells?

To remove borders, select the cells with borders you want to remove, go to the ‘Borders’ menu, and select ‘No Border.’

Can I customize my own border style?

Absolutely! Excel allows you to create custom border styles. Click on ‘More Borders’ at the bottom of the border menu and explore the options available.

Are there keyboard shortcuts for applying borders?

Yes, there are shortcuts. For example, you can use Alt+H, B to open the borders menu. However, you will still need to use your mouse to select the style.

Will adding borders affect the way my data is processed?

Not at all. Borders are purely cosmetic and do not affect how Excel processes or calculates data.


  1. Select the cells.
  2. Navigate to the Borders Menu.
  3. Choose the Border Style.
  4. Apply the Borders.


Applying borders to cells in Excel is an easy yet impactful way to enhance the appearance of your spreadsheets. Whether you’re looking to distinguish different sections, emphasize key information, or just add a bit of style to your work, borders can be the perfect solution. They serve not only as a visual aid for the reader but can also reflect the level of professionalism and attention to detail you put into your work.

Like any tool, borders are most effective when used appropriately. Keep in mind the tips provided and always aim for a balance between functionality and aesthetics. Overusing borders can lead to cluttered and confusing spreadsheets, while a well-thought-out border strategy can elevate your data presentation to new heights.

Furthermore, remember that Excel offers a range of customization options for borders. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and colors to find the perfect match for your project. And if you ever need to make changes, it’s just a few clicks away.

In the end, it’s all about improving the readability and appearance of your data. So why not take a few moments to apply borders to your Excel cells? It might just be the finishing touch your spreadsheet needs.