Design terrific workbook themes in Excel 2007

Excel 2007 Step by Step book cover

Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Step by Step
By Curtis D. Frye

Curtis D. Frye is a freelance author and Microsoft Office Excel Most Valuable Professional living in Portland, Oregon. He is a coauthor of Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Programming Inside Out and the author of Microsoft Office Excel 2003 Step by Step, Microsoft Excel Version 2002 Plain & Simple, Faster Smarter Home Networking, several books on Microsoft Access, and numerous online training courses.

To learn more about other books on the 2007 Microsoft Office system, visit Microsoft Press.


In this article


The 2007 Microsoft Office system includes powerful new design tools that enable you to create attractive, professional documents quickly. The Microsoft Office Excel 2007 product team implemented the new design capabilities by defining workbook themes and table styles. A theme is a way to specify the fonts, colors, and graphic effects that appear in a workbook. Office Excel 2007 comes with many themes installed.

Themes drop down in the Themes gallery

Apply an existing theme

To apply an existing workbook theme, display the Page Layout tab of the user interface. Then, in the Themes group, click Themes and then click the theme you want to apply to your workbook. By default, Office Excel 2007 applies the Office theme to your workbooks.

The Theme Colors gallery

The theme colors appear in the top segment of the color palette—the standard colors and the More Colors link, which displays the Colors dialog box, appear at the bottom of the palette. If you format workbook elements using colors from the theme colors portion of the color palette, applying a different theme changes that object’s colors.

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Change a theme’s graphic effects

You can change a theme’s colors, fonts, and graphic effects by displaying the Page Layout tab on the user interface and then, in the Themes group, selecting new values by using the Colors, Fonts, and Effects buttons’ drop-down lists. To save your changes as a new theme, display the Page Layout tab of the user interface, and then, in the Themes group, click Themes and then click Save Current Theme. Use the controls in the dialog box that appears to record your theme for later use. Later, when you click the Themes button, your custom theme will appear at the top of the gallery.

 Note   When you save a theme, you save it as an Office Theme file. You can apply the theme to Microsoft Office Word 2007 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 files as well.

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Apply and define styles

Just as you can define themes and apply them to entire workbooks, you can apply and define table styles. You select a table’s initial style when you create it; to create a new table style, display the Home tab of the user interface and then, in the Styles group, click Format as Table. In the Format as Table gallery, click New Table Style to display the New Table Quick Style dialog box.

The New Table Quick Style dialog box

Type a name for the new style, select the first table element you want to format, and then click Format to display the Format Cells dialog box. Define the element’s formatting and then click OK. When the New Table Quick Style dialog box reappears, its Preview pane displays the overall table style and the Element Formatting section displays the selected element’s appearance. Also, in the Table Element list, Office Excel 2007 displays the element’s name in bold to indicate it has been changed.

If you want to make your new style the default for any new tables created in the current workbook, select the Set as default table quick style for this document check box. When you click OK, Office Excel 2007 saves your custom table style.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007