How to Apply Outside Borders in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Applying outside borders in Excel is easy peasy! First, select the cells you want to add a border to. Next, go to the "Home" tab and click on the "Borders" button. Choose "Outside Borders" from the dropdown menu, and voila! Your selected cells now have a nice, clean border around them. No more boring spreadsheets for you!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Apply Outside Borders in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand why we’re doing this. Adding outside borders to your cells can give your worksheet a more professional look and make it easier to read. Plus, it’s a great way to highlight important data.

Step 1: Select Your Cells

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to border.

Selecting the right cells is crucial because you don’t want to add borders to cells that don’t need them. Make sure you’ve got all the cells you want included in the border.

Step 2: Click on the "Home" Tab

Find the "Home" tab on the Excel ribbon at the top of the screen.

The "Home" tab is where you’ll find most of the formatting options in Excel. It’s like the control center for making your spreadsheet look good.

Step 3: Click on the "Borders" Button

Look for the "Borders" button in the "Font" group of the "Home" tab.

The "Borders" button is usually represented by a small square with some lines around it. It’s where all the magic happens for adding borders in Excel.

Step 4: Choose "Outside Borders"

Select "Outside Borders" from the dropdown menu that appears.

There are several border options to choose from, but for this task, you’ll want to select "Outside Borders". This option will add a border around the outside edges of your selected cells.

After completing these steps, your selected cells will now have a border around the outside edges. This can help to visually separate different sections of your worksheet or just make it look more organized and put-together.

Tips for Applying Outside Borders in Excel

  • Make sure your cells are properly aligned before adding borders.
  • Use different border styles to differentiate between sections of your worksheet.
  • Add borders to the header rows or columns to define them more clearly.
  • Remember that you can also remove borders by selecting "No Border" from the same dropdown menu.
  • Experiment with color and weight options to make your borders stand out or blend in, depending on your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add borders to individual cells?

Yes, you can add borders to individual cells by selecting just one cell before following the steps above.

Adding borders to individual cells can be useful if you want to highlight a specific piece of data within your worksheet.

How do I remove borders in Excel?

To remove borders, follow the same steps as above, but select "No Border" from the dropdown menu instead of "Outside Borders".

Removing borders is just as easy as adding them, so don’t worry if you make a mistake or change your mind later.

Can I customize the border color and style?

Absolutely! When you click on the "Borders" button, there are options to choose the color and style of your borders.

Customizing your borders can make your worksheet look more interesting and help you emphasize certain areas.

What if I want to add borders to multiple, non-adjacent cells?

Hold down the "Ctrl" key while clicking on each cell you want to add a border to. Then, follow the same steps to add borders.

This is a handy trick if you want to apply borders to cells that aren’t next to each other without doing it one by one.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for adding borders in Excel?

Yes, you can use the "Ctrl + Shift + &" keyboard shortcut to add outside borders to selected cells.

Keyboard shortcuts can save you time, especially if you’re working on a large worksheet with lots of data.


  1. Select Your Cells
  2. Click on the "Home" Tab
  3. Click on the "Borders" Button
  4. Choose "Outside Borders"


Adding outside borders in Excel is a straightforward process that can significantly improve the visual appeal and organization of your spreadsheets. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone who loves to keep things tidy, mastering this skill is a must. Remember to select the right cells, customize your borders to fit your style, and don’t be afraid to experiment. If you found this article helpful, consider exploring more Excel tips and tricks to enhance your data presentation skills. Applying outside borders is just the beginning – there’s a whole world of Excel formatting options waiting for you to discover!