Format Data

Data in Excel can be formatted to create professional or publishable quality tables. Some formatting features similar to MS Word can be accessed from the Formatting toolbar such as: Font type and size; Bold and Italic; Align Left, Centre and Align Right; Font Colour, Highlight and Borders. These features are helpful in sprucing up your tables.

In addition, Excel has a Format cell feature which can be used to format numbers in a cell:

  • Select a cell in the Sheet2 (say B4) and go to Format–>Cells… to open the Format cells dialogue box.
  • Here you can format the contents of the cell using many different preset formats. Try some of these (e.g. a Number format with 2 decimal places has been applied to cell B4 in Fig. 1). The field Sample will show how the number will look like in the spreadsheet.
  • Some categories have multiple formats. Type some dates in your worksheet and try applying various date formats.
    Tip! You can insert today’s date by using the key combination Ctrl ;

Note that you can also change alignment, font and border of a cell from this dialogue box as well. Try some options and then return to your spreadsheet.

Exercise 2

  • Format the headings of your data with bold type face.
  • Select all the cells and apply borders.
  • Apply a double border before and after the header row and at the bottom of the table.
  • Format the dates just typed in the date Month Year format (such as 18 February 2009).
  • Copy and paste the table to a new MS Word file.