Excel Training: Borders

The aim of this second lesson is to understand how to apply a table formatting (borders, border styles and background color).


Start by opening a new Excel workbook.

To apply borders to a range of cells, select the cells, click on the location indicated on this image then on to apply full borders to each cell in the selection:

excel grid borders

The borders are then applied to the selection:

excel grid layout borders

Reselect the cell range A1 to E11 and erase this grid by clicking this time on "No Border" in the dropdown list:

excel selection borders

Keep this selection and apply borders around the selection by clicking on "Outside Borders" to get:

excel outer borders

The goal now is to add vertical borders inside the selection.

When a format is not available in the dropdown list of borders (or to save time when you need to apply several types of borders to the same selection), right click on the selection then on "Format Cells" and apply your borders directly from the "Border" tab.

To add vertical borders inside the selection, click on then on OK:

excel inner borders png

The vertical borders are well added:

excel vertical borders

To apply a thicker border to the first row of the table, select the cells A1 to E1 and click on "Thick Bottom Border" to target only the lower border of the selection:

excel thick border style borders

To get:

excel simple table borders

Border color and style

It is possible to change the line style and its color from the same dropdown list but it is generally easier to do it from "Format Cells" when there are multiple formats to apply.

Select now the cell range A2 to E11, open the "Format Cells" window and select a gray border color:

excel border color png borders

Also change the border style to the one in dotted lines and, only after defining the format, apply the horizontal borders inside the selection by clicking on :

excel dotted borders

To get:

excel table borders

Note that you can hide the default grid of the sheet from the "View" tab by unchecking "Gridlines":

excel hide gridlines sheet borders

Background color

Finally, you can modify the width of the rows and columns as well as the color of the cells as we have seen in the previous lesson:

excel color table borders