Excel: Lesson 2, Part 1

Excel Formatting
Lesson 2: Formatting Part 1


Welcome to Lesson Number 2 of Excelling with Excel!  In this lesson, you will learn the basics of cell formatting, including data entry, text style and format, column width, row height, cell fill, text wrap, merge cells, and borders.

Basic Data Entry

Excel formatting

To enter data into a spreadsheet, first click on the cell into which you would like to enter the data and press enter.  You may enter text or numerical data, as well as functions.  For this lesson, we will only focus on the entry of numerical and text data.  Simple functions will be covered in Lessons 3 and 4.

For this lesson, we will create a simple spreadsheet with sales data for a fictitious frozen vegetable plant, Frozen Delites.   Column A will be the item number, Column B will be the January Sales, Column C will be the February Sales, and Column D will be the March Sales.

First type the column labels into row 3 with the following in the specified cells:

A3=Item NumberExcel Formatting

B3=Jan Sales

C3=Feb Sales

C4=Mar Sales



Next, we will enter all the item numbers into Column A.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

A4=123456Excel Formatting







Remember to press enter after each number.

Next step, we will enter the January Sales data in Column B.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

B4=1200Excel Formatting







Next step, we will enter the February Sales data in Column C.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

C4=1250Excel Formatting








Finally, we will enter the March Sales data in Column D.  Please enter the following numbers in the specified cells:

D4=1356Excel Formatting








Congratulations!  You have entered your first set of data into a spreadsheet!

Column Width

Often the original settings for the column width is too narrow, and it is necessary to adjust the width.  The key is to be able to see all labels and all data, that no letters or numbers are hidden.

In our current spreadsheet, Column A’s label is not showing.  You can change this width one of two ways:

  1. Right click on Column A. Left click on Column Width. Increase to width to ensure the label is visible. I changed this particular column to width of 13.
  2. Select (highlight) Column A. Position the pointer between the tops of Column A and Column B until you see a cross.  Left click on the mouse, and pull the column until it is at the appropriate width.

Excel Formatting

Row Height

You may also need to adjust the height of rows in an Excel spreadsheet.  In the below spreadsheet, the rows are not tall enough to fully view the data in the cells:

Excel Formatting

No worries!  You can easily adjust this height.  There are two easy ways to achieve a better height for the rows:

  1. Select all rows.  Place the cursor on the bottom left corner of the bottom row, making a small cross appear.   Then, double click.  Amazingly, the rows adjust to the appropriate height for the data.
  2. Select all rows. Right click on one of the row numbers, and a small menu will appear.  Click on Row Height, and enter the height you would like the rows to be. And wala!

Excel Formatting



Text Font, Style, and Size

You want your spreadsheet to look like you want it to look.  That was a mouthful!  Anyway, you can easily change the font, style, and size of the data in a spreadsheet.  What’s more, you can do it all in a few clicks by following these simple steps:

  1. Select all cells you want to change.
  2. Right click in the middle of these cells, and a small menu pops up.
  3. Left click on Format Cells.
  4. Choose the aspects you would like to change by clicking to choose each one for font, style, and size.

**SPECIAL NOTE—The preview window on the right of the popup shows the appearance of the chosen font.

  1. Once all selections have been made, click okay. And you are done!


That concludes Lesson #2.  You are on your way to excelling at the basics of Excel!

All the best,


Fab VA

Fabulous Virtual Assistant, Business Services