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Essential Formatting Tricks in Excel

Learn essential formatting tricks in this Howcast Excel tutorial with expert Shir Moscovitz.


Hi, my name is Shir and I'm the founder and CEO of where we focus on converting the existing data from your business into massive savings and extraordinary profits. Today we're going to learn the basics of Excel. Let's get started.

Alright, let's go through some really cool tricks for formatting in EXCEL. As you'll see here on the top ROW, some of the text is currently hidden. Let's fix that by going with the mouse in between ROWS 1 & 2 and until we see that icon that shows an up and down arrow. When we click and drag there and scroll down, we can get more space. If we want to get more space on a COLUMN,
we can do the same exact them between the COLUMNS.

Now let's say we want to get all of these to show it exactly the right spot without doing it manually. So let's select all of these COLUMNS and double click between any one of them and automatically it sizes the COLUMNS to the right width. This is called AUTOFIT. We can also go back to WRAP text format and then we can make it a little bit smaller so that we can see what's going on without too much trouble.

Next, we're going to talk about the Format Painter. The first step to the Format Painter is to select the CELL that has the formatting that you want, then you're going to click here on this Format Painter button and then you're going to click on the CELL that you want to apply the Formatting to. And there you have it. We can go one step further by starting again and instead of clicking once, we're going to click twice and now we can apply that Formatting anywhere we want just by clicking on any CELL. And we still see that Paintbrush meaning it's still in Format Painter mode. To get out of this mode, we can click again on the Format Painter button or hit the ESC key on the keyboard. Let's do that.

We can also take more than one formatted CELL at a time. Let's choose all these four and hit the Format Painter button twice and as I click here it takes all four items at the same time. Notice it borrowed not only the CELL shading but also the Font Color, the Italics and the Border as well and the Strike Through feature. Everything get's borrowed along with it. I'm going to hit ESC to get out of that mode. And there we are.

Another useful trick is to Format the data type without having to use CTRL+1 to get to here. Or you won't even have to use this area over here to choose Formatting. We can do it with the keyboard. So here's the trick. We can select the data that we want, hit CTRL then SHFT and then
~(tilde) immediately to the left of 1 on the keyboard. This makes it a general number format. We can hit CTRL+SHFT+1 to get a generic number format with two decimal points and a comma for the thousand dollar mark. CTRL+SHFT+2 brings us Time Mode. CTRL+SHFT+3 is a Basic Date Format. CTRL+SHFT+4 is Currency which is easy to remember because it's the Currency symbol on the keyboard. CTRL+SHFT+5 is Percentage - also the Percentage symbol on the keyboard. Lastly, We have CTRL+SHFT+6 which is Scientific Notation. And those are some useful EXCEL Formatting tricks.

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