Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Drawing Borders.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 21, 2017)
The normal way to add borders around a cell or range of cells is to select the cell or range, and then choose Format | Cells and use the Border tab. There is a quick shortcut you can use to actually "draw" borders around cells.
Take a look at the Borders tool on the Formatting toolbar. Click the down-arrow at the right of the tool and you'll see a number of different borders you can apply. At the bottom of the selections is a choice named "Draw Borders." Choose this, and the mouse pointer becomes a small pencil and the Borders toolbar appears.
Now you can just click and draw borders where ever you want them. The controls in the Borders toolbar allow you to specify what type of line you want, along with the line color. The pencil tool (which is selected by default when you choose to Draw Borders) is used for drawing borders, and the eraser tool is used to clear borders.
When you are done creating your borders, just dismiss the Borders toolbar. The mouse pointer returns to normal, and you can use Excel like you normally do.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2397) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Drawing Borders.
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Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.