Quickly Format an Excel Worksheet

Much of the time when you are using Microsoft Excel you will be working with a list of data. This data will look more attractive and be easier to work with if it is neatly formatted.

Unfortunately the formatting that you can apply using Cell Styles in Microsoft Excel is time consuming to use if you have a sizeable list of data to format. There is, however, a handy workaround that we’ve discovered so we’ll let you in on the secret so you can use it too.

In Microsoft Excel select all the data in the list that you want to format neatly including all the column headings. Click the Home tab on the Ribbon and click Format as Table. Choose one of the table formats shown in the gallery.

Excel will ask you where the data is for your table – you already have it selected so you don’t need to change anything here. If your list has column headings then click the My table has headers checkbox and click Ok.

Your list will be formatted to match the format you chose. Provided you click somewhere inside your list, you can click the Table Tools > Design tab, locate the Table Style Options and then check or uncheck the checkboxes to fine tune how your list looks.

Now, while this technique formats your list very nicely, it also brings with it some potentially undesirable features which are specific to Excel tables. To undo this behavior and just leave the nice formatting in place, click in the list and choose Table Tools > Design tab, click Convert to Range and click Yes. Now your list is neatly formatted without you having to do all the work yourself.