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How To Use Microsoft Excel 2007's Cell Styles Feature

How To Use Microsoft Excel 2007's Cell Styles Feature


How To Use Microsoft Excel 2007's Cell Styles Feature

by Alexander Lewis

Excel boasts a very wide variety of formats that you can apply to your cells. Naturally, when creating your worksheets you want your formatting to be consistent. Cell Styles provide you with an excellent way of achieving this.

Cell Styles are located in the Style section of the Home Tab of Excel's Ribbon. When you click the Cell Styles button, the categorised Cell Styles gallery is revealed. The gallery provides a live preview; just hover over any of the styles to temporarily change the current selection within your worksheets, giving you a preview of what your data will look like if you choose that particular style.

The first benefit of using styles is simply that you apply several formats in one operation. For example, if you were to choose the style called "Heading One", you would automatically change the size, alignment and colour of your text. You can speed up the formatting process even further by using the Format Painter tool to copy styles into the other cells or even other worksheets. To use the Format Painter, highlight an area that already has a cell style applied, double-click on the Format Painter icon to make sure it stays highlighted then drag across the appropriate range(s) of cells. When you have finished applying the formats, click once on the Format Painter to deactivate it.

Having applied Cell Styles in various areas of a workbook, you can take advantage of the most important benefit offered by styles; if you modify the attributes associated with any of the styles used in a workbook, the formatting of all cells to which that style has been applied will automatically be updated.

As for modifying the defintion of a style, since we're not directly applying formats to any of the cells, it doesn't matter which cells are highlighted. To modify the a style's attributes, click on the Cell Styles button, right click on the name of the style and then choose "Modify". You will then be offered the six categories of formats which can be included in a style: Number, Alignment, Font, Border, Fill and Protection. The list is pretty comprehensive and includes just about everything that Excel has to offer in the way of formatting.

You will also notice that you have the facility of activating and deactivating categories as necessary. Any categories are not required by a particular style can simply remain deactivated (i.e., checkbox not ticked). To make your changes, click each relevant category and make your selections. When you click OK to confirm the changes you have made, all cells to which the style has been applied will be automatically updated.

About the Author:
The author is a training consultant with TrainingCompany.Com, a UK IT training company offering Microsoft Excel Classes at their central London training centre.

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