Apply or remove automatic formatting of worksheet data

Excel provides several sample table formats (or autoformats (autoformat: A built-in collection of cell formats (such as font size, patterns, and alignment) that you can apply to a range of data. Excel determines the levels of summary and detail in the selected range and applies the formats accordingly.)) that you can apply to your worksheet data. For example, to make the data on a worksheet easier to scan, you can apply an autoformat that displays alternate rows in two contrasting colors.

  1. Select the range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.), rows, or columns where you want to apply or remove an autoformat.

ShowHow to select a range, row, or column

To select Do this
A range of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you use 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.
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).

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.
Cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner) Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+END to extend the selection of cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).
Cells to the beginning of the worksheet Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME to extend the selection of cells to the beginning of the worksheet.
More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT and 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. On the Format menu, click AutoFormat.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To apply an autoformat, click the format that you want.
    • To remove an autoformat, scroll to the bottom of the list and click the None option.

 Note   If you want to use or remove only selected parts of an autoformat, click that autoformat in the list, click Options, and then clear the check boxes for any formats that you don't want to apply. Autoformats are adjusted in the preview box as you clear or select the check boxes. If you clear the Font check box, the font that is specified on the General tab of the Options dialog box (Tools menu, Options command) is applied.

 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003