Formatting The Appearance of a Workbook

You will learn how to format an Excel workbook in this part of the tutorial.

Open your "checks" workbook if it isn't already opened.

Select the first row of the "checks" workbook, by clicking in the cell containing the bold face 1.


You have just selected what Excel describes as a range.

The Concept of a Range

A range is a rectangular block of cells. Many things are accomplished in Excel using ranges. For instance, the format used to display values can be changed for an entire range. All the values in a range can be referred to when writing a formula. A range of cells can also be protected, which means the contents of the cells cannot be altered. Ranges can also be named.

Excel also allows you to select discontinuous ranges. You will learn how to do this further on in the tutorial.

With the range of cells A1:F1 selected, click on the Bold button and Center alignment button.

This formatting should have made the text too big for the cells.

Adjust the column widths of the columns.

Your workbook should look similar to the following:

Selecting Discontinuous Ranges

Select the first range of cells: A3:A6.

Hold down the Ctrl key and select the range of cells: C2:C6.


Click on the Center alignment button.

Let's format the dates.

Formatting Dates and Numbers

The basic formatting rule "select and then do" is used when working with Excel.

Select the range of cells: B3:B6.

Choose Cells from the Format menu.

The following Format Cells dialog box should appear:

Click on the Number tag if it is not already displayed.

Within the Category box highlight Date to view all the Format Codes.

Scroll through the options in the Format Codes.There is no format that displays as: Aug. 8, 96. You can custom format by typing in the Code box.

Within the Code box, type in the following custom format:

Click on the Center alignment button to align the dates.

Now let's format the dollar amounts.

Select the discontinuous range displayed below:

Remember to select the first region, then hold down the apple key when you select the remaining regions.

Choose Cells from the Format menu.

Click on the Number tab if it is not already displayed.

Within the Category box highlight Currency.

Select the following Format Code and then click OK:

Click on the Center alignment button to align the dollar amounts.

Note that you could have selected the whole "checks" workbook and then clicked on the Center button.

Your "checks" workbook should look as follows:

Let's insert a row between row 2 and row 3 in the "checks" workbook, to make the workbook more appealing to the eye.

Select row 3 by clicking on the bold face 3.

Choose Rows from the Insert menu.

You have now learned how to format an Excel document. Note that within the Format Cells dialog box you can format the borders of the cells, change the color,pattern, and shading of the cells and protection of cells can be set there too.

You have completed your first workbook. It is time to preview it.

Choose Print Preview from the File menu.


Click on the Close button to return you to the workbook.

Observe the dotted line between column E and column F, the dotted line indicates that there will be a page break there.

What you want to do is actually flip the table so it will fit on the whole page. You can do this by choosing Page SetUp from the File menu.

Choose Page SetUp from the File menu.

The following Page Setup dialog should appear:

Click on the Page tab if it isn't already displayed.

Within the Orientation box click on Landscape and then click on the OK button.

Observe the dotted line (indicating a page break) at the bottom of your workbook and running horizontal.

Preview your "checks" workbook and then print a copy of it.

When your done printing close the "checks" workbook.

You are now ready to learn some advanced features of Excel 5.0.

Next Topic:Copying Cells
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