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: Automatic Lines for Dividing Lists.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 21, 2014)
Let's say you have a list of company transactions. Each transaction includes a department number, a title, and other information (amount, date, authorizer, etc.). As you get more and more of these items in your list, you may want a way to automatically add "dividing lines" based on the department number. For instance, when the department number changes, you may want to include a line between the two departments.
To add this type of formatting to your list, start by sorting your data table by department. For the sake of this example, I'll assume that your data is actually in columns A:F, with the department numbers in column A. (See Figure 1.)
Figure 1. The data to be divided.
To add the automatic dividing lines, follow these steps:
Figure 2. The New Formatting Rule dialog box.
That's it; you should now see a line that appears across the entire width of your data every time the department changes.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6863) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Automatic Lines for Dividing Lists.
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