How to Add a Text Box Outline in Excel 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a text box outline in Excel 2013 is a straightforward process. Just follow these steps: select the text box you want to modify, go to the ‘Format’ tab, click on ‘Shape Outline’, choose the color, weight, or style of the outline to your preference. And just like that, you have a neat outline around your text box!

After completing this action, the text box will have a visible outline around it. This can help make the text box stand out on the worksheet and can also make it look more polished and professional.


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you need to make certain pieces of text stand out in an Excel spreadsheet? Maybe you’re preparing a report or a presentation and you want to draw attention to specific data or information. One way to do this is by adding a text box outline. Not only does it make the text box visually appealing, but it also helps to separate and emphasize the text from the rest of your data.

This article is particularly important for Excel users who want to enhance the presentation of their spreadsheets. Whether you’re a student working on a project, a business professional preparing a report, or just someone who loves to organize data neatly, knowing how to add an outline to a text box in Excel can be a very useful skill. So let’s dive in and learn how to make your text boxes pop!

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add a Text Box Outline in Excel 2013

The following steps will guide you through the process of adding an outline to a text box in Excel 2013.

Step 1: Select the Text Box

Click on the text box that you want to add an outline to.

Selecting the text box is crucial because it tells Excel which element you’re wanting to modify.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Format’ Tab

Navigate to the ‘Format’ tab on the Excel ribbon, which will give you various options for modifying your text box.

The ‘Format’ tab is where all the magic happens. Here you will find tools to change the appearance of your selected text box.

Step 3: Click on ‘Shape Outline’

In the ‘Format’ tab, click on the ‘Shape Outline’ button.

This will open a drop-down menu where you can customize the outline of your text box.

Step 4: Choose the Outline Color, Weight, or Style

From the drop-down menu, choose the color, weight, or style of the outline that you want for your text box.

You can select from a range of options to get the exact look you desire. Remember, the right choice can make a world of difference in the presentation of your text box.


Enhanced VisibilityAdding an outline to a text box makes it stand out, ensuring that the information within is noticed.
Professional AppearanceOutlines give a polished look to your spreadsheets, which is ideal for professional or academic presentations.
CustomizationWith a variety of colors, weights, and styles, you can customize the outline to match the theme or purpose of your spreadsheet.


DistractionIf not used wisely, outlines can become a distraction, drawing attention away from other important data on the spreadsheet.
ClutterUsing too many outlined text boxes can make a spreadsheet look cluttered and disorganized.
Printing IssuesSome outlines may not print as they appear on the screen, which could affect the readability of the printed document.

Additional Information

When working with text box outlines in Excel 2013, there are a few additional tips that can come in handy. For instance, you can add effects such as shadow, glow, or 3-D rotation to your text box outline for even more emphasis. But be cautious not to overdo it; the key is subtlety.

Another tip is to ensure that the color of the outline contrasts well with the background of the spreadsheet and the text within the text box. This ensures maximum readability and impact. And don’t forget, you can also make your text box transparent or filled with color to complement the outline.

Lastly, remember that consistency is key. If you’re using multiple text boxes, it’s a good idea to keep the outline style consistent across them. This helps to maintain a clean and cohesive look in your spreadsheet.


  1. Select the text box you want to modify.
  2. Navigate to the ‘Format’ tab on the Excel ribbon.
  3. Click on the ‘Shape Outline’ button.
  4. Choose the color, weight, or style for your outline.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use this method to add an outline to other shapes in Excel?

Yes, the same steps apply to adding outlines to other shapes in Excel.

What if the ‘Format’ tab is not visible?

Make sure the text box is selected. The ‘Format’ tab appears only when a shape or text box is selected.

Can I add a border to a cell instead of a text box?

Yes, you can add borders to cells by using the ‘Borders’ option in the ‘Home’ tab.

Is it possible to remove the outline from a text box?

Absolutely! Just select the text box, go to ‘Shape Outline’, and choose ‘No Outline’.

Can I add multiple outlines to a single text box?

No, Excel allows only one outline per text box. However, you can choose a thicker weight to make it more prominent.


Enhancing your Excel spreadsheets with text box outlines is a simple yet effective way to make your data stand out. Whether it’s for a report, a presentation, or just for your own personal organization, the steps outlined in this article will help you do just that. By now, you should feel confident in your ability to add that extra flair to your Excel workbooks.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles and colors. Remember, the goal is to make your information pop without overwhelming your audience. So go ahead, give it a try and watch your Excel skills shine!

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