How to Format cell contents in Excel?

Formatting cells in Excel involves making the cells look more appealing. Other reasons for cell content formatting include: adding a formal look to your document as well stressing out the most important facts or information. Some of the various major formatting operations that can be accomplished in Excel include:

1. Merging selected cells

Merging helps us combine two or more cells into one. This is essential in instances when we want to create headings for related data items. To merge cells in excel:


1. Launch Excel.

2. Move to your worksheet.

3. Navigate to the Home tab in Excel's Ribbon.

4. From the worksheet, select or highlight three horizontally adjacent cells.

5. Move to the alignment group and select Merge & center. You will immediately observe that all the three cells become one and the content is centered in between.

2. Undoing merge action

1. Press Ctrl+Z


1. Highlight the merged cells.

2. Open merge and center menu.

3. Click on Unmerge cells.

3. Adding borders to cells.

If you print preview your worksheet for the first time you will note that the cells have no borders. Borders help organize your data in Excel especially after printing the worksheet. It is thus easier to read and follow within the data without getting lost between the details. It is however important to note that, one can add borders for a single cell or on multiple selected cells.


1. Launch Excel's worksheet.

2. Highlight a group of cells using your mouse or keyboard. Press the Shift+ arrow key to highlight using the keyboard.

3. Ensure you are on the Home tab.

4. Navigate to the fonts group and click the Squared Borders button. A border drop-down menu will pop up.

5. Select the type of border you want to set. In our case let's select "All Borders". You will see that all the sides of the cells will have a border in form of lines on all sides.

6. Save changes when done.

7. Preview the document in print privies to confirm.

4. Changing text orientation in cells:

We can also change the vertical or horizontal positioning of content inside cells. This is helpful if a long piece of text cannot fit comfortably yet we do not want to widen the column.


1. Launch Excels worksheet.

2. Highlight the cells whose content is to be positioned or rotated.

3. Click the Orientation button.

4. Orientation options pop up. You can also select rotation options.

5. Clicking on the vertical option, for example, positions the content vertically within the cell.

6. Save changes. You can print preview the excel worksheet to confirm changes.

5. Applying number formats:

Number formats in Excel add details to numeric data. They are also a source of enhancement to the look of cells.


1. Select the cells to format.

2. Select the Home tab.

3. Move to the Number group and select the number format.

4. A drop-down menu will appear, with various format options e.g. Select the currencies format. You will notice that the highlighted cell contents have an added dollar sign.

5. You can add more number formats as you wish.