Stylistic formatting

Stylistic formatting refers to the formatting that you apply to make your work look good. Many toolbar buttons offer direct access to common formatting options, regardless of whether you're working with cells, drawn objects, or charts. For example, you can use the Fill Color toolbar button to change the background color of a cell, change the fill color of a drawn text box, or change the color of a bar in a chart. But you'll want to access the Format dialog box for the full range of formatting options.

The easiest way to get to the correct dialog box and format an object is to select the object and press Ctrl+1. Or, right-click the object and choose Format xxx (where xxx is the selected object) from the shortcut menu. This action brings up a tabbed dialog box that holds all the formatting options for the selected object.

Excel's conditional formatting feature is particularly useful. This feature, accessed by choosing Format ^ Conditional Formatting, allows you to specify formatting that will be applied only if certain conditions are met. For example, you can make cells that exceed a specified value appear in a different color.

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