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2. Hacking Excel’s Built-in Features > 21. Create 3D Effects in Tables or Cells

Create 3D Effects in Tables or Cells

Whenever you see a nifty 3D effect in a program or application such as Excel, you are actually seeing an illusion created by specific formatting. It is easy to create this illusion yourself by applying formatting to a cell or range of cells.

To start off with a simple example, we’ll give a cell a 3D effect so that it appears raised, like a button. On a clean worksheet, select cell D5. (You’re selecting D5 because it’s not on an edge.) Select Format Cells Border. From the Line box, choose the second thickest line style. Ensure that the color selected is Black (or Automatic, if you haven’t changed the default for this option). Now click the righthand border and then click the bottom border. Return to the color option and select White. The second thickest border still should be selected, so this time click the two remaining borders of the cell, the top border and the left border. Click the Patterns tab on the Format Cells dialog and make the cell shading Gray. Click OK and deselect cell D5. Cell D5 will have a raised effect that gives the appearance of a button. You did it all with borders and shading.


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