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: Applying Table Formats.

Applying Table Formats

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 9, 2016)

At times formatting can be rather tedious, particularly if your worksheet is large or presents complex information. Excel includes a very powerful formatting tool that you can use to help with your formatting tasks.. This is the AutoFormat feature, which allows you to format data tables within your worksheet quickly and easily. With the click of a mouse button, you can format an entire table, including setting all formatting attributes and row and column sizes.

To use this feature, simply make sure you select a cell in or around a data table. When you select a cell within the data table, AutoFormat does real good at just selecting the cells that make up the data table. However, if you choose a cell around the data table (within one row or column of the data table), AutoFormat selects the entire data table plus the extra row or column that contains the cell you selected. If you want to format only the data table and no extra rows or columns, you will want to make sure the cell you select is actually within the data table.

Once you have selected a cell (or the entire data table), follow these steps:

  1. Choose AutoFormat from the Format menu. Excel displays the AutoFormat dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The AutoFormat dialog box.

  3. Scroll through the AutoFormat dialog box and pick the style that looks like you want your data to look.
  4. Click on the OK button. Excel reformats your table to match the format you selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2801) 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: Applying Table Formats.

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. ...

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