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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Engraving Text

Word allows you to format your text in a number of different ways. One rather esoteric way to format your text is by ...

Discover More

Extra Shaded Lines

Put a page break at the beginning of a shaded paragraph and you may be surprised at what you get on your printout. This ...

Discover More

Removing Automatic Lines

Type a few dashes, underscores, or equal signs, and you could end up with a full-width line in your document. This is ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Sorting Data Containing Merged Cells

When formatting the layout of your worksheet, Excel allows you to easily merge adjacent cells together. This can cause ...

Discover More

Sorting while Ignoring Leading Characters

Want to ignore some characters at the beginning of each cell when sorting? The easiest way is to simply create other ...

Discover More

Fixing Odd Sorting Behavior

When you sort data that contains both numbers and text, you may not get exactly the result that you expected. To know ...

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 8 + 7?

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?


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.