Designing your spreadsheet

How to make things look good

Now comes the fun part of Microsoft Excel (yippy!). You've worked hard to create your formulas in the cells you want. The numbers are coming out right and it looks powerful enough to sort out your problems. So is it easy to look at? Can you find the results quickly? Do the results look a bit messy or not quite clean and professional looking?

Well, this is where Microsoft Excel's designing tools comes into its own. Many of the buttons and menu commands you will see are there mainly to help make your data look clean and easy to read.

For example, just like in Microsoft Word, you will find buttons in the toolbar for specifying whether you want the data to have italics, bold, underline or other design feature. And there is also a button to specify how many decimal places you want your numbers to show in the cells.

Most of the designing features can also be found under the Format menu command for changing the appearance of data and in specifying the size and colour of cells.

We will let you tinker with these designing features on your own. The only thing we will mention in this section is one very useful design feature known as merging cells.

Merging cells

Merging cells is the ability under Microsoft Excel to create the impression of one cell in a spreadsheet by merging two or more cells together. This feature may be useful to simplify the designing process for various cells and to ensure data do line up in the right position for design consistency.

To merge cells together, use the mouse to highlight the cells for merging.

Click the cell merging (and centering) button on the toolbar.

The cells are now merged ready to be treated as if it is a single cell.