Microsoft Excel: Tabs and Borders


You don't like all the extra tabs on a blank workbook? Or maybe you prefer more? Set the default number of tabs for a new workbook by opening Tools/Options, clicking the General tab, and changing the entry for "Sheets in new workbook."

Add more tabs to a workbook by right clicking an existing tab and selecting Insert. Use Move or Copy to reorder tabs or create a copy of an existing tab. Mouse-lovers may notice one can also drag and drop the tabs, holding down CTRL to copy the source tab rather than move it.

Print out all the tabs in a workbook by using File/Print and choosing Print What: Entire Workbook. Or to print out just some of the sheets, use the CTRL and Shift keys to select specific sheets or a range of sheets to print. As with many types of lists in Windows, use CTRL to select individual sheets, and use Shift to select the first and last in a range.


Prior to Excel 2002 the way to add borders to a spreadsheet was to use the Format Cells dialog's Borders tab to modify the selected cells. In Excel 2002 and later, you can also right click any toolbar and select the Borders toolbar from the list. You can leave this new toolbar floating above your spreadsheet, or drag it onto an existing toolbar to dock it.

Click on Draw Border to show a pencil you can use to draw borders along whatever cells you wish, or a border around a group of cells, in the indicated style and color. Use Draw Border Grid to draw a grid over the cells you select. Use the Erase Border tool to remove borders from specific cells.

Prefer a fancier spreadsheet? Select a group of cells that make up a table, and pick Format/AutoFormat to view a list of predefined, colorful formats including borders, fonts, number formatting, alignment, and so on.

January 2005

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