Aesthetic Cells Formatting
The Cell's Background
The cell background is the color or pattern that fills its inside. The default background of a cell is white. There are various options available to you if you want to change it.
Once again, the Ribbon provides the quickest means of configuring a cell or a group of cells. To paint a cell or a group with a color other than white, after selecting it, on the Ribbon, click Home. In the Font section, click the arrow of the Fill Color button and select a color.
As we have seen so far, the Format Cells dialog box provides an extensive array of options for cell configuration. It is equipped with the Fill property page that displays a wide range of colors:
To change a cell background, use one of the colors on the Background Color section.
A font is an art effect made of designed symbols used to represent letters and other characters on a cell or a group of cells. A font is designed by an artist but usually follows a specific pattern. For example, a font designed to produce symbols readable in the US English language must be designed by a set of predetermined and agreed upon symbols. These English symbols are grouped in an entity called the English alphabet. When designing such a font, the symbols created should conform to a particular language. Because a font is primarily an art, one font can be different from another and a font is not necessarily a series of readable symbols.
Just like everything else in the computer, a font must have a name. A font is also designed to assume different sizes. Before using it on a worksheet, the font must have been installed. Microsoft Windows installs many fonts during setup. Microsoft Office 2007 also installs new fonts when it is setup.
The font used on the Microsoft Excel application to display its menus and the names of objects is controlled by the operating system. Unless you have a good reason, you should not be concerned with it.
The names of fonts installed on your computer can be seen in the Fonts window accessible from Control Panel. Here is an example:
Microsoft Excel uses some default fonts to display the name of columns and rows on a worksheet. Another font is used by default to show the contents of cells. If you want to use a different font to display text in cells, you can changes these defaults. When changing the default font, in other words if you decide to change the default font, you should use only the most popular fonts that are more likely to be found on your user’s computers.
To assist you with setting the fonts of columns, the ribbon is equipped with a Font section in the Home tab:
You can make a worksheet user-friend by applying some fonts and colors to their content. A font is primarily known by its name as we saw in the above Fonts window. When starting a worksheet, Microsoft Office Excel 2007 applies a default font named Calibri to the cells. If you want, you can change it.
To change the font used by a cell or a group of cells:
Besides its name, a font is also known for its size. The size defines how much height and proportional width would be used to represent the characters of the selected font.
To specify the font size used by a cell or a group of cells:
When a font is installed, a set of font sizes is created in the Font Size combo box. You can use those numbers but you can also set a new one. To do this, instead of selecting a value in the Font Size combo box, type the desired number and press Enter or Tab. The operating system would calculate the size and apply it.
Another aspect of the appearance of a font is its style, which is a technique of drawing the characters of the text, depending on the font. This characteristic comes in four options:
By default, Microsoft Excel applies the Regular font style to the cells of a worksheet. You can change this characteristic if you want. To change the font style of a cell or a group of cells:
You can specify more than one style on a cell or a group of cells. To do this, click the button of the desired style. When a style is valid for a control, when you click that control, the style button is highlighted: , , or . To remove a style, click the undesired button. To add a style to another style, simply click the desired button. Based on this, you can have one, two or three buttons highlighted in the combination of your choice.
A formatting style is a set of font, font size, color, and patterns designed to make a worksheet or one of its sections look good. Microsoft Excel is equipped with categories of styles. You can use those ones or create your own.
When applying a style, you decide to format various cells at the same time using a category of style that has been predefined. Therefore, you apply such a style to a cell or range of cells. By default, when you are typing data in a worksheet, you are already using a predetermined style made of a certain font (Calibri), a font size (11), a border, and background, etc. You can modify this style or create a new one.
To apply a style, you use the Styles section of the Ribbon.
Conditional Formatting allows you to define and apply formatting to some cells, text, and numbers based on criteria that you set. For example, you can format a time sheet to point out whenever an employee gets overtime. You can also use it to track the best sales people in a company by setting a quota that makes a cell range particular.
To use, define, and apply conditional formatting, first select the cells that will be considered. On the Ribbon, click Home. In the Styles section, click Conditional Formatting. A menu would display:
You can use any criteria of your choice. The formatting could be applied to cells' values or a particular formula.
Microsoft Excel is equipped with drawing features that can be used to embellish a worksheet. If you have used Microsoft Office long enough, you are probably aware of its drawing tools. They allow you to draw lines, geometric shapes, various flowcharts, connectors, and banners, etc.
A shape is an aesthetic figure you draw on a worksheet. Microsoft Excel (in reality Microsoft Office) provides various figures and shapes you can use to enhance the appearance of your worksheet.
To access the shapes, on the Ribbon, click the Insert tab and use the buttons in the Illustration section:
To draw a shape, in the Illustration section of the Ribbon, you can click Shapes. A window will display the various shapes that are available:
You can click the desired shape. Then, on the worksheet, click one of the extreme ends, drag to the other extreme, when you get a satisfying size and orientation, release the mouse. Once you release the mouse, the object will still be selected with various object handles of various sides and corners of the object. If you position your mouse on different handles or on the object, the mouse pointers will have different shapes.
Some objects don’t display all these mouse pointers and some may display different mouse shapes. If/when one of those unusual pointers comes up, you will be guided on its meaning.
Almost any shape you draw has a marking rectangular box around it. This allows you to work on the shape as an object. For example, you can use this box to move the object.
You can move any object to a new location on your screen. Sometimes you will want to select more than one object to manipulate the group. To select more than one object, click one of them, press and hold Shift, then click the other object(s). When you have created the group, release Shift.
A drawn object can be copied and pasted to another location on the same worksheet or to a different worksheet on the same workbook, in another workbook, or even to another document. To copy an object, click it. Then on the Ribbon, click Home. In the Clipboard section, click Copy, and proceed with pasting. You can copy one object or a group of objects. Using the Clipboard window of Microsoft Office 2007, you can copy up to 24 objects at once, then paste them to their new respective locations.
A Microsoft Office WordArt is a fancy formatted sentence whose features you can use to include a good-looking group of words that you type and embed in your worksheet.
To get a WordArt, on the Ribbon, click the Insert tab. In the Text section, click the WordArt button and click the desired format:
A label with Your Text Here would come up. You can then edit it to your liking.
You can use pictures to enhance the appearance of your worksheets. You can use almost any kind of picture from almost any format. To get some pictures, you can access the Clip Art section of the Microsoft Office web site. You would have to download those pictures and install them on your computer. You can also use any pictures available to you.
To use a picture, on the Ribbon, click Insert. In the Illustration section, click the Picture button. This would open the Insert Picture dialog box. Locate and select a picture, then click Insert.
Microsoft Excel also allows you to completely change a worksheet’s background with a picture of your choice. To do that, on the Ribbon, click Page Layout. In the Page Setup section click the Background button. From the Sheet Background dialog box, locate and select the desired picture. Then click Insert.
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