Software & Apps MS Office How to Format Excel Spreadsheets Using Cell Styles Create professional-looking worke by Ted French Writer Former Lifewire writer Ted French is a Microsoft Certified Professional who teaches and writes about spreadsheets and spreadsheet programs. our editorial process Ted French Updated on February 24, 2020 nigelcarse / Getty Images MS Office Excel Word Powerpoint Outlook Tweet Share Email Formatting your Excel spreadsheets gives them a more polished look, and can also make it easier to read and interpret the data, and thus better suited for meetings and presentations. Excel has a collection of pre-set formatting styles to add color to your worksheet that can take it to the next level. These instructions apply to Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010. What Is a Cell Style? A cell style in Excel is a combination of formatting options, including font sizes and color, number formats, cell borders, and shading that you can name and save as part of the worksheet. Apply a Cell Style Excel has many built-in cell styles that you can apply as is to a worksheet or modify as desired. These built-in styles can also serve as the basis for custom cell styles you can save and share between workbooks. Select the range of cells you want to format. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the Cell Styles button in the Styles section, to open the gallery of available styles. Select the desired cell style to apply it. Customize Cell Styles One advantage of using styles is that if you modify any cell style after applying it in a worksheet, all cells using that style automatically update to reflect the changes. Further, you can incorporate Excel's lock cells feature into cell styles to prevent unauthorized changes to specific cells, worksheets, or workbooks. You can also customize cell styles either from scratch or using a built-in style as a starting point. Select a worksheet cell. Apply all desired formatting options to this cell. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the Cell Styles button in the Styles section, to open the gallery of available styles. Select New cell styles at the bottom of the gallery. Type a name for the new style in the Style name box. Select the Format button in the Style dialog box to open the Format Cells dialog box. Select a tab in the dialog box to view the available options. Apply all desired changes. Select OK to return to the Style dialog box. Underneath the name is a list of the formatting options that you selected. Clear the checkboxes for any unwanted formatting. Select OK to close the dialog box and return to the worksheet. The new style's name will now appear at the top of the Cell Styles Gallery under the Custom heading. To apply your style to cells in a worksheet, follow the steps above for using a built-in style. To edit cell formatting, launch the Cell Styles Gallery and right-click on a cell style and choose Modify > Format. The right-click menu also includes a Duplicate option. Copy a Cell Style to Another Workbook When you create a custom cell style in a workbook, it's not available across Excel. You can easily copy custom styles to other workbooks, though. Open the first workbook containing the custom style you want to copy. Open the second workbook. In the second workbook, select Cell Styles on the ribbon to open the Cell Styles gallery. Select Merge Styles at the bottom of the gallery to open the Merge Styles dialog box. Select the name of the first workbook and choose OK to close the dialog box. An alert box will pop up asking if you want to merge styles with the same name. Unless you have custom styles with the same name but different formatting options in both workbooks, click the Yes button to complete the transfer into the destination workbook. Remove Cell Style Formatting Finally, you can remove any formatting you apply to a cell without deleting the data or the saved cell style. You can also delete a cell style if you no longer want to use it. Select the cells that are using the cell style that you want to remove. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the Cell Styles button in the Styles section, to open the gallery of available styles. In the Good, Bad, and Neutral section near the top of the gallery, select Normal to remove all applied formatting. The above steps can also be used to remove formatting that has been applied manually to worksheet cells. Delete a Style You can delete any built-in and custom cell styles from the Cell Styles gallery except for Normal, which is the default. When you delete a style, any cell that was using it will lose all associated formatting. On the Home tab of the ribbon, select the Cell Styles button in the Styles section, to open the gallery of available styles. Right-click on a cell style to open the context menu and choose Delete. The cell style is immediately removed from the gallery.