Apply or remove cell borders in a worksheet

Using predefined border styles, you can quickly add a border around cells or ranges (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) of cells.

  1. On a worksheet, select the cell or range of cells that you want to add a border to, change the border style on, or remove a border from.

ShowHow to select a cell or a range

To select Do this
A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

You can also select the first cell in the range, and then press F8 to extend the selection by using the arrow keys.

A large range of cells Click the first cell in the range, and then hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell in the range. You can scroll to make the last cell visible.
All cells on a worksheet

Click the Select All button.

Select All button

To select the entire worksheet, you can also press CTRL+A.

 Note   If the worksheet contains data, CTRL+A selects the current region. Pressing CTRL+A a second time selects the entire worksheet.

Nonadjacent cells or cell ranges

Select the first cell or range of cells, and then hold down CTRL while you select the other cells or ranges.

You can also select the first cell or range of cells, and then press SHIFT+F8 to add another nonadjacent cell or range to the selection.

 Note   You cannot cancel the selection of a cell or range of cells in a nonadjacent selection without canceling the entire selection.

An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet showing row heading and column heading

Callout 1 Row heading
Callout 2 Column heading

You can also select cells in a row or column by selecting the first cell and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).

 Note   If the row or column contains data, CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY selects the row or column to the last used cell. Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW KEY a second time selects the entire row or column.

Adjacent rows or columns Drag across the row or column headings. Or select the first row or column; then hold down SHIFT while you select the last row or column.
Nonadjacent rows or columns Click the column or row heading of the first row or column in your selection; then hold down CTRL while you click the column or row headings of other rows or columns that you want to add to the selection.
More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active cell (active cell: The selected cell in which data is entered when you begin typing. Only one cell is active at a time. The active cell is bounded by a heavy border.) and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.

 Note   To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.

  1. To apply a new or different border style, click the arrow next to Borders Button image on the Formatting toolbar, and then choose a border style from the palette.

Tip    To apply a custom border style or a diagonal border, click Cells on the Format menu. On the Border tab, click the line style and color that you want, and then click one or more buttons to indicate the border placement. Two diagonal border buttons Button image   Button image are available under Border.

  1. To remove cell borders, click the arrow next to Borders Button image on the Formatting toolbar, and then click No Border Button image on the palette.

 Notes 

  • If you click the Borders button Button image (not the arrow), the most recently used border style is applied.
  • If you apply borders to a selected cell, the border is also applied to adjacent cells that share a bordered cell boundary. For example, if you apply a box border to enclose the range B1:C5, the cells D1:D5 acquire a left border.
  • If you apply two different types of borders to a shared cell boundary, the most recently applied border is displayed.
  • A selected range of cells is formatted as a single block of cells. If you apply a right border to the range of cells B1:C5, the border is displayed only on the right edge of the cells C1:C5.
  • If you want to print the same border on cells that are separated by a page break, but the border appears on only one page, apply an inside border. For example, suppose you want to print a border at the bottom of the last row of one page and to use the same border at the top of the first row on the next page. Select the rows on both sides of the page break, and then click Cells on the Format menu. Click the Border tab, and under Presets, click the Inside button Button image. Then, under Border, in the preview diagram, remove the vertical border by clicking it.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003