Quick, clean, and to the point

Shortcuts for formatting

In this video, we're going to look at tips and techniques for formatting worksheets faster.

This worksheet is a simple model that compares the cost of buying coffee at a coffee shop vs. making coffee at home. There's very little formatting, so I'll use a number of shortcuts to clean thing up.

First, I'll turn off gridlines to make borders easier to see.

I want to change all text to a dark gray to match the chart. SO I'll select all, then use Format Cells.

The great thing about Format cells is you use it anywhere, even when the ribbon is collapsed or on the wrong tab, as in this case.

Also, Format Cells dialog lets you format almost anything in Excel, including charts and other objects.

Next, I'll add borders.

I'll use Select on the larger table, then hold down the Control key in Windows (Command key on a Mac) to to add selections.

For the headings, Center Across Selection is a nice trick that avoids problems that come with merging cells.

To apply bold, italic, and underline formatting, you can use Control + B, Control + I, and Control + U, respectively.

These shortcuts toggle formatting on and off.

The shortcut Repeat Action, which is F4 or Control Y on Windows, Command Y on a Mac is a handy way to apply the same fill in this case.

To apply currency format, I'll use control + shift + $.

I cover all shortcuts for number formatting in a separate video.

Because there is no dedicated shortcut to set decimal places. I'll use Format Cells.

To add indent to cells, use Alt H + 6 on Windows, Control + Option + Tab on a Mac.

To remove indent, use Alt H + 5 on Windows, Control + Option + Shift + Tab on a Mac.

To increase font size, use Alt H + FG in Windows, Command + Shift + > on a Mac.

To decrease font size, use Alt H + FK in Windows, Command + Shift + < on a Mac. 

For left alignment, use Alt H + AL in Windows, Command L on a Mac.

For right alignment, use Alt H + AR in Windows, Command R on a Mac.

And finally, for center alignment, use Alt H + AC in Windows, Command E on a Mac.

When you're aligning things on a worksheet, you can snap objects to the grid by holding down the Alt key in Windows and Command on the Mac.

Finally, just a quick tip: the Format Cells dialog box remembers that last tab that you used.

If you want to force Format cells to open with the Font tab selected, you can use Control + Shift + F.


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Dave Bruns

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