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Chapter 4. Changing Document Appearance

Chapter 4. Changing Document Appearance

Chapter 4 at a Glance

In this chapter you will learn to:
✓ Change the appearance of data.
✓ Apply an existing format to data.
✓ Make numbers easier to read.
✓ Change data’s appearance based on its value.
✓ Make printouts easier to follow.
✓ Position data in a document.

An important aspect of working with data entered into a workbook is ensuring that the data is easy to read. Microsoft Excel gives you a wide variety of ways to make your data easier to understand; for example, you can change the font, letter size, or color used to present a cell’s contents. You can also change how your data appears on the printed page, such as by changing your printer’s margins or adding information at the top or bottom of every page.

Changing how data appears on a worksheet helps set the contents of a cell apart from the contents of surrounding cells. The simplest example is that of a data label. If a column on your worksheet has a list of days, you can set a label—for example, Day—apart easily by presenting it in bold type that’s noticeably larger than the type used to present the data to which it refers. To save time, you can define a number of custom formats and then apply them quickly to the desired cells.

You might also want to specially format a cell’s contents to reflect the value in that cell. For instance, Catherine Turner, the owner of The Garden Company, might grant some credit to The Garden Company’s better customers, use Excel to track each customer’s purchases, and use that information to determine which customers are nearing their credit limit. A quick way to distinguish when a customer is close to his or her credit limit is to change how their outstanding balance is presented in its cell. Catherine might, for example, change the color of the font from the standard black to blue when a customer is within 10 percent of his or her limit.

In addition to changing how data appears in the cells of your worksheet, you can also use headers and footers to add page numbers, current data, or graphics to the top and bottom of every printed page.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to change the appearance of data, apply existing formats to data, make numbers easier to read, change data’s appearance based on its value, make printouts easier to follow, and position your data on the printed page.

See Also

Do you need a quick refresher on the topics in this chapter? See the quick reference entries on pages xxxv–xxxviii.


Before you can use the practice files in this chapter, be sure you install them from the book’s companion CD-ROM to their default location. See “Using the Book’s CD-ROM” on page xi for more information.

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