Two tips for giving your Excel worksheets a professional look

Mary Ann Richardson describes how you can give your Excel spreadsheets a polished look by using the appropriate type of line formatting and removing zero values.

Excel provides several underline formats to give your spreadsheets a professional look and to make them easier to read at a glance. For example, labels and values are often underlined to distinguish them from the rest of the data. To access these formats, click on the cell you want formatted and press [Ctrl]1. Click on the Font tab and then click on the drop-down arrow of the Underline combo box. This box offers four different types of line formatting. While the Single and Double format are appropriate for text labels, they are not appropriate for indicating totals and subtotals. For Totals, you should choose the Double Accounting format; for Subtotals, choose the Single Accounting format.

Another way you can make your worksheets look more professional is to remove zero values. For example, you've just copied a formula down a column, and now you have blocks of cells containing 0.00 or 0.00%. You could go back and delete the formulas from those particular cells, but an easier method would be to change the worksheet to avoid displaying or printing the zero values. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Tools | Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Under the Window Options section, clear the Zero Values check box.
  4. Click OK.

Miss a tip?

Check out the Microsoft Excel archive, and catch up on our most recent Excel tips.

Help users increase productivity by automatically signing up for TechRepublic's free Microsoft Office Suite newsletter, featuring Word, Excel, and Access tips, delivered each Wednesday.

Editor's Picks

Free Newsletters, In your Inbox