How to Add Add Borders in Excel

Using shortcut keys and ribbon options

Borders on a wall

VANDAL Photography / Getty Images

In Microsoft Excel, it's easy to add borders to individual cells, letting you emphasize or define various sections of a worksheet. Borders make it easier to find and read specific data and can draw attention to important information, such as the results of a formula. Here's a look at how to create borders in Excel using both keyboard shortcuts and ribbon options.

Excel showing different border styles

The information in this article applies to Excel versions 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010.

Add Borders Using a Keyboard Shortcut

Use a keyboard shortcut to quickly add a border to the outside edges of one or more selected cells.

  1. Highlight the desired range of cells in the worksheet.

  2. Press and hold Ctrl + Shift + &. (This shortcut uses the default line color and thickness.)

  3. The selected cells will be surrounded by a black border.

Add a Predefined Border From the Ribbon

The Borders option is located under the Home tab. Use it to add predefined borders to cells in your worksheet.

  1. Highlight the range of cells in the worksheet to which you want to add a border.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Font group, select the arrow next to Borders.

  3. Select a border style. The chosen border appears around the selected cells.

    Excel showing how to add borders from the ribbon

    The Borders button displays the most recently used border style. Select the Borders button (not the arrow) to apply that style.

How to Draw Borders

The Draw Border feature is located at the bottom of the Borders drop-down menu. One advantage of using Draw Border is that it isn't necessary to select cells first. Instead, once the Draw Border option is selected, add borders directly to a worksheet.

Draw Border includes options for line color and style, making it easy to vary the appearance of borders used to highlight important blocks of data. Create borders with lines of varying thickness, dotted and dashed lines, and double lines.

  1. Select Home and then the Borders arrow.

  2. Select Draw Borders.

  3. Select Line Color and choose the color you want to use for the border.

    Excel showing how to format your borders
  4. Select Line Style and choose the line thickness you want to apply to the border.

  5. Select Draw Border. The mouse pointer changes into a pencil.

  6. Select the side of individual cells where you want to add a single border.

  7. Drag with the pointer to add an outside border to a cell or group of cells to finalize your border.