Wondering how to make a table look good in MS Excel 2013 ?
Here are a few steps to help you, with a full example below :
- Format as table, using Excel predefined styles,
- Copy formatting, from one cell to another,
- Merge and center, when cell descriptions applies to several columns / lines,
- Add borders, to visually distinguish easily important blocks,
- Set text to bold, to visually notify important cells,
- Format cells values, to properly display numbers, percentages, …
- Resize columns to fit content.
You can always go further, but these easy and fast steps will quickly make your Excel table look better.
Starting from a non formatted table, as seen below, you can see there’s a lot to improve.
First step, apply some Excel table to distinct subtables. Select them, and use the Format as Table option from Styles box in the HOME menu.
You might use Medium formats for content, and Dark format for a heading subtable, as shown in example.
If you have extra cells, and want to apply the same style, select the cell from which the style should be copied, click on Format Painter from Clipboard box in the HOME menu, and then click on the cells on which you want to copy the format.
If several cells represent the same information, instead of copy pasting them, make sure the first cell of the selection (from the left for horizontal selection, or the top for vertical selection), select the contingent cells that should contain the same information, and apply the Merge & Center option from the Alignment box in the HOME menu.
To make some blocks of information more obvious, for example subtotals and totals, select the corresponding line or column, and apply a Border from the Font box in the HOME menu.
It might also be useful to format then in Bold from the same Font box in the HOME menu.
Some text might need to be reformatted, for example numbers only showing 2 decimals, or some numbers formatted as Percentage. Select the data you want to format, right click on the selection, and select the Format Cells… option.
In that option, select the category you want to apply, and change the options to fit your needs, in our case Percentage with 2 decimals.
Then, select the columns, and when having the icon as shown on picture by pointing at the intersection of two columns identifier, double click to resize them all automatically.
And voilà ! Your table should now look much better and you can now share it.