Borders in Excel: How to Add, Customize, and Remove Them

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By Matthew Simpson

Are you looking to spruce up your Excel spreadsheet with some borders? Adding borders can make your data pop and enhance the overall look of your document. In just a few simple steps, you can add, customize, and remove borders to fit your specific needs.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding Borders in Excel

Adding borders in Excel is a straightforward process that can greatly improve the readability and appearance of your spreadsheet. Let’s go through the steps to get those borders in place.

Step 1: Select the cells where you want to add borders

Click and drag your mouse over the cells you want to add borders to.

Selecting the cells is the first step in adding borders. You can select a single cell, a range of cells, or even the entire spreadsheet. Just click on the first cell and drag your mouse to encompass all the cells you want to include.

Step 2: Navigate to the ‘Borders’ button

Go to the ‘Home’ tab on the ribbon and find the ‘Font’ group, where you’ll see the ‘Borders’ button.

Once you’ve selected your cells, look at the top of Excel for the ‘Home’ tab. Under this tab, you’ll find a variety of options for formatting your text and cells. The ‘Borders’ button is in the ‘Font’ group, which is usually located towards the center of the ribbon.

Step 3: Choose the border style

Click on the ‘Borders’ button and choose your desired border style from the drop-down menu.

Excel offers a range of border styles to choose from, including solid, dashed, and dotted lines. You can also select where you want the borders to go – outside borders, inside borders, top, bottom, left, or right.

Step 4: Customize the border color and line style (optional)

For further customization, click on ‘More Borders’ at the bottom of the drop-down menu to open the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box.

If you want to get more creative with your borders, Excel allows you to change the color and line style. After clicking on ‘More Borders,’ a dialog box will appear with more options. Here you can select the color and style that best fits your spreadsheet’s design.

Step 5: Apply the borders

After selecting your border style and customization, click ‘OK’ to apply the borders to the selected cells.

Once you’re happy with your selections, simply click ‘OK,’ and voila! Your borders will appear around the selected cells. If you ever want to change or remove the borders, just repeat these steps.

After you complete the action, your selected cells will now have the borders you chose. This can help differentiate sections, highlight important data, or simply make your spreadsheet more visually appealing.

Tips for Borders in Excel

  • To quickly add borders to selected cells, use the keyboard shortcut ‘Ctrl + Shift + &’.
  • If you want to remove borders, select the cells and press ‘Ctrl + Shift + _’.
  • Use the ‘Format Painter’ tool to copy the border style from one set of cells to another quickly.
  • Double-check your print preview to ensure your borders will print correctly, as sometimes what you see on the screen doesn’t always translate to print.
  • Remember that too many borders can make your spreadsheet look cluttered, so use them sparingly to maintain a clean and organized look.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add diagonal borders in Excel?

Yes, you can add diagonal borders through the ‘More Borders’ option in the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box.

How do I copy border styles from one cell to another?

Use the ‘Format Painter’ tool, which looks like a paintbrush on the ‘Home’ tab. Click on the cell with the border style you like, then click the ‘Format Painter’ and select the cells you want to apply the style to.

Is there a way to set a default border style?

No, Excel doesn’t offer a way to set a default border style. You’ll need to select your preferred style each time you add borders.

Can I add borders to non-adjacent cells?

Yes, press and hold the ‘Ctrl’ key while selecting non-adjacent cells, then apply the borders.

Why are my borders not printing?

Make sure your print settings include gridlines and borders, and double-check in print preview before printing.


  1. Select the cells where you want to add borders.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Borders’ button under the ‘Home’ tab.
  3. Choose the border style from the drop-down menu.
  4. Customize the border color and line style (optional).
  5. Apply the borders to the selected cells.


Borders in Excel are a fantastic way to organize your data and make your spreadsheets look professional. With the simple steps outlined in this tutorial, you’re now equipped to add and customize borders to suit your preferences. Whether it’s for a work project, school assignment, or personal budget, knowing how to effectively use borders can make a world of difference in your data presentation. Remember, while borders can enhance the look of your spreadsheet, it’s important to use them judiciously to avoid visual clutter. So go ahead, give it a try and see how borders can transform your Excel experience.