Section 5: Basic formatting

Formatting with the Home Tab

Font Group, Alignment Group and Number Group

The Font Group contains a variety of buttons that allow you to quickly apply formatting to selected cells.


Excel Font Group
  • Font changes the font face of selected cells
  • Font Size changes the size of selected cells
  • Increase font increases the font size
  • Decrease font decreases the font size
  • Bold changes the characters to a heavier weight
  • Italics will give the characters a slight slant to the right
  • Underline applies a horizontal line below characters
  • Fill Color will fill a cell with a colour or shading
  • Font Color applies colour to selected text or cells

The tools within the Alignment Group will change the position of the characters within a selected cell or cells.

The Number Group allows you to change the formatting of numbers for values in selected cells.


Selecting Cells

Only the cell(s) that has a thick border around it is active or selected. 

Excel Alignment Group

To select more than one cell in a rectangular area, click and drag the mouse.  The range of cells selected is the address of the top/left cell through to the address of the bottom/right cell.  The selected cells will have a thick border around them; all but the first cell will appear with a slightly shaded background.

To select random cells, hold the Ctrl key while clicking desired cells.

To select a blocked range of cells, columns or rows, select one cell/row/column, hold Shift key & select ending cell/row/column

To select an entire column, click the corresponding column letter; the mouse pointer appears as a black arrow.

To select an entire row, click the corresponding row number.

To select an entire workbook, click the box above row 1 and to the left of column A.

You can also use the following keyboard methods:

  • Hold the shift key with one of the direction arrows to select cells in a blocked range
  • Ctrl A to select entire worksheet
  • Shift plus page down to select a window length of cells