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: Moving Cell Borders when Sorting.

Moving Cell Borders when Sorting

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2017)

4

Frank has a simple two-column table that contains random dates in the first column and the letters A through E in the second column. He formats the cell containing the letter C so it has a background color and a border around the cell. When Frank sorts the table according to what is in the first column, Excel moves the background color with the C cell, but it doesn't move the border. Frank wonders if there is a way to move both the color and border of a cell when sorting.

The solution is to change how you are doing your formatting. Excel provides two types of formatting that can be applied to cells—regular formatting and conditional formatting. If you apply regular formatting, then what moves when you sort can seem rather arbitrary. If you apply conditional formatting, then all the formatting applied by the condition (or conditions) will move with the cell when you sort.

So the answer to the question is to change how you do your formatting in this instance. Just apply a conditional format that modifies the border of the cell, and then you can sort in peace. (The condition you set could easily be one that is always True, and thus the formatting always applied.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8883) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Moving Cell Borders when Sorting.

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 eight minus 1?

2017-10-03 11:23:01

Gary Lundblad

Unfortunately I do not believe you can add a thick border with conditional formatting, which I think is rather stupid; however; you could use a colored or dotted bordered.

Gary


2016-01-26 14:24:45

Willy Vanhaelen

- After entering the conditions in the "... Formatting Rule" dialog...
- Click the [Format...] button
- The "Format Cells" dialog appears
- Click the "Border" tab and select what you want and click [OK]




2016-01-25 18:14:56

John

Could you give an example on how to apply a conditional format that modifies the border of the cell? (e.g. thick border)


2014-07-16 18:38:36

Phil Reinie

1) How does one "apply a conditional format that modifies the border of the cell"?
and
2) My situation is the border goes with the cells, however where the moved cells were no longer has a border. How can I maintain the border that was there?


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