How to Change Border Color in Excel 2010: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the border color in Excel 2010 is a simple process that involves selecting the cells you want to modify, opening the Format Cells dialog box, and choosing your desired color from the Border tab. After completing these steps, the borders of the selected cells will reflect the new color, giving your spreadsheet a customized look.

After you change the border color, the new color will be applied to the selected cells, making it easier to distinguish between different sections of your spreadsheet or to emphasize certain data.


When working with Excel, the appearance of your spreadsheet can be just as important as the data it contains. A well-formatted spreadsheet can make your data more accessible and easier to understand. One way to enhance the look of your spreadsheet is by changing the border color of the cells. This can help you highlight important information, create visual separation between different sections, or simply add a bit of flair to a bland-looking table. Excel 2010 offers a variety of options for customizing the borders of your cells, including the ability to change their color. Whether you’re a student organizing data for a project, a business professional preparing a report, or anyone in between, knowing how to modify the border color in Excel 2010 can be a valuable skill. In the following sections, we’ll go through the steps to change the border color and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Change Border Color in Excel 2010

The steps outlined below will guide you through the process of changing the border color for selected cells in an Excel 2010 spreadsheet.

Step 1: Select the cells

First, click and drag your cursor to highlight the cells you want to modify.

Once you have selected the cells, they will be outlined in a highlighted color, indicating that any changes you make will apply to all of them.

Step 2: Open the Format Cells dialog box

Right-click on the selected cells and choose ‘Format Cells’ from the context menu.

The Format Cells dialog box is where you’ll find various formatting options for your cells, including font, alignment, and border settings.

Step 3: Go to the Border tab

In the Format Cells dialog box, click on the ‘Border’ tab.

The Border tab will show you a preview window and several options for customizing the borders of the selected cells.

Step 4: Choose the border color

Click on the color dropdown menu and select the color you want for the border.

You’ll see a range of colors to choose from, including theme colors and standard colors. You can also click ‘More Colors’ for an even wider selection.

Step 5: Apply the border color

After selecting the color, click on the border icons to apply the color to the desired parts of the cell borders.

You can choose to apply the color to the outside borders, inside borders, or individual borders of the cells. Make sure to click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.


Benefit Explanation
Enhanced Visualization Changing border color can improve the visual appeal of a spreadsheet, making it easier to read and interpret the data.
Increased Focus By using different colors for borders, you can draw attention to specific areas of your spreadsheet, helping to highlight key information.
Customization Excel 2010 allows for a high degree of customization, including the ability to change border colors to match company branding or personal preferences.


Drawback Explanation
Overuse Can Distract Using too many colors or overly bright colors for borders can be distracting and make the spreadsheet harder to read.
Printing Issues Colored borders may not print well, especially if a printer is low on color ink or if the spreadsheet is printed in black and white.
Compatibility If the spreadsheet is shared with users who have different versions of Excel, the border colors may not appear the same on their screens.

Additional Information

When changing the border color in Excel 2010, it’s important to consider the overall design of your spreadsheet. Choosing colors that complement the data and are easy on the eyes can enhance the readability and professionalism of your document. It’s also worth noting that while Excel 2010 offers a good range of colors, you might not find the exact shade you’re looking for. In such cases, you can click ‘More Colors’ to access a color wheel or RGB sliders for a more customized hue. Additionally, if you’re working with a large spreadsheet, it might be helpful to use the ‘Format Painter’ tool to quickly copy border formatting to other cells. Lastly, keep in mind that the appearance of colors can vary depending on the monitor and printer settings, so be sure to check your changes in print preview before printing.


  1. Select the cells you want to modify.
  2. Open the Format Cells dialog box by right-clicking the selected cells.
  3. Click on the ‘Border’ tab in the Format Cells dialog box.
  4. Choose the color for the border from the color dropdown menu.
  5. Apply the border color to the desired parts of the cell borders and click ‘OK’.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply border color to non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can apply border color to non-adjacent cells by holding the ‘Ctrl’ key while selecting multiple cell ranges.

Is it possible to save a custom border color for future use?

While Excel 2010 doesn’t offer a direct way to save custom border colors, you can use the ‘Format Painter’ tool to replicate the formatting on other cells or save the formatting in a template.

How do I remove the border color from cells?

To remove the border color, follow the steps to open the Format Cells dialog box, go to the Border tab, and select ‘None’ for the border style.

Can I use theme colors for borders?

Yes, Excel 2010 offers theme colors that you can use for borders, which are designed to work well together and create a cohesive look for your spreadsheet.

What should I do if the border color isn’t printing correctly?

Check your printer settings to ensure it’s set to print in color, and consider adjusting the border color to a darker shade for better print results.


Mastering how to change border color in Excel 2010 can elevate the aesthetic appeal of your spreadsheets and make data presentation more impactful. Whether it’s for professional reports, personal budgets, or academic projects, the ability to customize borders adds a layer of refinement and clarity to your work. As with any design element, moderation and strategic use of color are key to maintaining readability and ensuring your spreadsheet communicates effectively. With a little practice, you’ll find that this simple yet powerful feature becomes an integral part of your Excel toolkit. So go ahead, give your spreadsheets the colorful edge they deserve!

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