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

Changing the border color in Excel is a simple yet effective way to customize your spreadsheets for better visual appeal and organization. By following a few straightforward steps, you can easily highlight important data or differentiate various sections within your worksheet.

How to Change Border Color in Excel

In this section, we’ll guide you through the steps to change the border color of cells in Excel. This process lets you customize the appearance of your data, making your spreadsheets more visually appealing and easier to read.

Step 1: Open Your Excel File

To begin, open the Excel file where you want to change the border color of cells.

Opening your file is the first step. Make sure you locate the correct file on your computer or cloud storage, and double-click to open it.

Step 2: Select the Cells

Click and drag to select the cells where you want to change the border color.

Selecting the relevant cells is crucial. It ensures that only the intended cells will have their border color changed, keeping your worksheet organized.

Step 3: Open the Format Cells Dialog Box

Right-click the selected cells and choose "Format Cells" from the context menu.

The Format Cells dialog box is where you can find many customization options, including border settings. This step unlocks all the features you need.

Step 4: Go to the Border Tab

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

The Border tab is your gateway to customizing cell borders. Here, you can adjust the style, color, and placement of your borders.

Step 5: Choose a Border Style

Select a border style from the options available in the "Style" box.

Choosing a border style can enhance the appearance of your cells. Options include solid lines, dashed lines, and more. Pick one that suits your needs.

Step 6: Select a Border Color

Click on the "Color" dropdown menu and select your desired border color.

Selecting the right color is key to making your data stand out. Excel offers a variety of colors to choose from, ensuring you find one that matches your preferences.

Step 7: Apply the Border

Click the buttons in the "Border" section to apply the border to the selected cells, then click "OK."

Applying the border finalizes your changes. The buttons in the Border section let you choose which sides of the cells get the new borders.

After completing these steps, your selected cells will have the new border color applied, making them stand out visually from the rest of your spreadsheet.

Tips for Changing Border Color in Excel

  • Experiment with Different Styles: Don’t be afraid to try out different border styles to see which one best enhances your data.
  • Use Consistent Colors: Stick to a consistent color scheme across your spreadsheet to maintain a professional look.
  • Highlight Important Data: Use brighter colors for borders around critical information to draw attention.
  • Combine with Other Formatting: Pair border color changes with other formatting like bold text or cell shading for maximum effect.
  • Save Your Work: Always save your changes frequently to avoid losing your customized formatting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I change the border color of a single cell?

Yes, you can change the border color of a single cell by selecting it and following the same steps outlined above.

How do I remove a border color?

To remove a border color, go to the Format Cells dialog box, select the "Border" tab, and click "None."

Can I change the border color for an entire row or column?

Yes, you can select an entire row or column and change the border color using the same steps.

Is it possible to set a custom border color?

Yes, you can set a custom border color by selecting "More Colors" in the Color dropdown menu.

Can I copy and paste border formatting?

Yes, you can use Format Painter to copy and paste border formatting from one cell or range to another.


  1. Open your Excel file.
  2. Select the cells.
  3. Open the Format Cells dialog box.
  4. Go to the Border tab.
  5. Choose a border style.
  6. Select a border color.
  7. Apply the border.


Customizing your Excel spreadsheet by changing the border color of cells is a straightforward task that can significantly improve the appearance and readability of your data. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily highlight important information and make your spreadsheets more visually appealing.

Remember, consistent formatting helps in maintaining a professional look, and experimenting with different styles can lead to discovering the best visual presentation for your data. If you haven’t yet tried changing the border color in Excel, now’s the perfect time to start.

For further reading, consider exploring more advanced Excel features like conditional formatting and data visualization tools. These can take your spreadsheet skills to the next level, making your data not only more attractive but also easier to understand. Happy formatting!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy