Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Drawing Borders.

Drawing Borders

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 25, 2015)

The normal way to add borders around a cell or range of cells is to select the cell or range, and then use the Border tab of the Format Cells dialog box. There is a quick shortcut you can use to actually "draw" borders around cells.

Start by displaying the Home tab of the ribbon. In the Font group, click the down-arrow at the right of the Border tool. Excel displays a whole range of options; you want to choose Draw Borders. Choose this, and the mouse pointer becomes a small pencil. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Excel allows you to draw borders in a worksheet

Now you can just click and draw borders wherever you want them. The options accessible through the drop-down arrow at the right of the Border tool allow you to specify what type of line you want, along with the line color.

When you are done creating your borders, just press the Esc key. The mouse pointer returns to normal, and you can use Excel like you normally do.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6231) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Drawing Borders.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Changing Huge Numbers of Hyperlinks

Need to change the various targets of a group of hyperlinks? Getting at the underlying link can seem challenging, but it is ...

Discover More

Alerts About Approaching Due Dates

You may use Excel to track due dates for a variety of purposes. As a due date approaches, you may want that fact drawn to ...

Discover More

Using Header Information as the Filename

Save a document for the first time, and Word helpfully suggests a filename you can use or change. If you want this suggested ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Accurate Font Sizes

Need to use some bizarre font size in your worksheet? Not a problem, provided it is a full or half point size.

Discover More

Automatically Copying Formatting

It's easy to automatically set the contents of one cell to be equal to another cell. But what if you want to copy the ...

Discover More

Ensuring Conditional Formatting and Data Validation is Copied

If you use an Excel worksheet for entering data (a quite common task, actually), then you need to be concerned with how ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 9?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.