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.

Drawing Borders

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 28, 2015)

7

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.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Increasing Envelope Address Lines

Envelopes in Word are created through the use of styles that define specific elements of the envelope, such as return address ...

Discover More

Conditional Calculations in Word

Word allows you to insert simple formulas, using fields, in table cells. You can also create simple conditional calculations ...

Discover More

Changing where a Spreadsheet is Stored

Get lots of files into Drive, and sooner or later you'll want to organize them in some way. Sheets includes a great feature ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Replacing Background Colors in Cells

Want a quick way to replace background colors in cells? It's easy to do using Find and Replace, or you can simply use the ...

Discover More

Adding Diagonal Borders

Borders on all sides of a cell are easy to do in Excel. You can also create diagonal borders that run right through the ...

Discover More

Adding Borders to Cells

Excel makes it easy to add all sorts of lines around a cell or range of cells. How easy? This tip demonstrates how to add ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 4?

2016-12-06 14:25:13

allen@sharonparq.com

Debbie: Pressing the Esc key should do it.

-Allen


2016-12-06 14:22:30

Debbie Rosenthal

How do you "dismiss the Borders toolbar"? That is the question I REALLY want answered, i.e., how do you get the annoying "pen" to go away?


2012-02-15 21:57:34

Steve Koschella

How often do you 'see' a menu item but not actually SEE it? I must have overlooked this menu item thousands of times and just gone and struggled with the 'normal' way of drawing borders. Thanks for pointing out the obvious!


2011-12-05 10:31:03

Brian Primeau

I used this over the weekend to make my wife a physical therapy record chart for her knee replacement rehab. I needed all different numbers of sets and reps for different exercises, several sessions a day, and divisions between days of the week. This was SO easy to do using the Draw Borders tool! I loved it!


2011-12-01 12:30:16

Brian Primeau

Thank you! I often design forms for my hospital and this will save me lots of time when I want some areas to have borders and others not. Sometimes the shapes of the borders are complicated and it takes forever to specify them with the normal selections. I would never have figured out how to do this without ExcelTips.


2011-11-26 22:26:39

Rajesh Asthana

Thanks for this time saving tip.


2011-11-26 12:53:47

Roy Willis

From time to time, that could be useful. Don't think I would have come across that menu option without being guided to it.


This Site

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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.