Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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 February 3, 2020)

2

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 Border. 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, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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. ...

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What is nine more than 2?

2021-01-17 16:56:04

John Mann

Indeed this is a neat trick - I could have used this many times in the past.

I would partially disagree with Allan's comment. If I just click and not drag, then as he stated, only one border is drawn - on whichever edge of a cell is clicked. However, the pencil icon didn't disappear, and I was able to randomly click on whichever edge of whatever cell took my fancy. That ended with a variety of cells having one border of the chosen line style and colour scattered across my screen - great fun when playing aroundm but also would have been very handy in some situatation I've had in the past.

In case it's relavent, I'm using Excel 2010 in Windows 10


2019-11-16 13:55:36

Allan

Neat.
However this statement is not entirely correct. "Now you can just click and draw borders wherever you want them. "
It should read "Now you can just click 'and drag' to draw borders wherever you want them. Otherwise you can draw only one border before the pencil option disappears.


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