How to See Formatting in Excel 2013: A Step-by-Step Guide

Seeing the formatting in Excel 2013 is a handy skill that can make your spreadsheet work much easier. By understanding the formatting, you can quickly identify patterns, make your data more readable, and even debug common issues. In just a few clicks, you can reveal all the formatting secrets of your Excel worksheet.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to See Formatting in Excel 2013

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’ll achieve here. We’re going to learn how to reveal all the formatting applied to the cells in an Excel 2013 worksheet. This includes font styles, cell colors, borders, and more. It’s an incredibly useful trick for anyone who deals with complex spreadsheets.

Step 1: Open the Excel Workbook

Open the Excel 2013 workbook where you want to see the formatting.

Once you have your workbook open, make sure you’re on the worksheet you want to analyze. This step is pretty straightforward, but it’s crucial to start with the correct canvas.

Step 2: Select the Cells

Select the cells whose formatting you want to inspect.

You can click and drag to select multiple cells or click on a single cell to inspect its formatting. If you want to select the entire worksheet, click the corner button above row numbers and to the left of column letters.

Step 3: Use the Ribbon Commands

Go to the ‘Home’ tab on the ribbon and click on ‘Conditional Formatting,’ then choose ‘Manage Rules.’

The ‘Conditional Formatting’ feature isn’t just for creating new rules; it’s also a powerful tool for inspecting existing formatting. By clicking ‘Manage Rules,’ you will open a new window that lists all the formatting rules applied to the selected cells.

Step 4: Inspect the Formatting Rules

In the ‘Conditional Formatting Rules Manager’ window, you can see all the rules that affect your selected cells.

Here, you can explore each rule and understand how it is applied. You can see the range of cells it affects, the formatting style, and even edit or delete the rules if you need to.

After you complete these steps, you’ll have a clear view of all the formatting that has been applied to the cells in your Excel 2013 worksheet. This insight can help you maintain consistency in your data presentation and make more informed decisions about how to format your data going forward.

Tips for Seeing Formatting in Excel 2013

  • Double-check that you’ve selected the correct cells before inspecting the formatting.
  • If you’re working with a large dataset, use ‘Find & Select’ to quickly locate cells with specific formatting.
  • Remember that cell formatting can affect how your data is sorted and filtered, so keep an eye on that.
  • Use the ‘Clear Formats’ option sparingly; it will remove all formatting from your selected cells.
  • Learn keyboard shortcuts to speed up the process of viewing and managing formatting rules.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I view page layout formatting in Excel 2013?

To view page layout formatting, go to the ‘View’ tab and select ‘Page Layout’ from the workbook views section.

Can I see all the formatting in a cell, including formulas?

Yes, by selecting the cell and then going to the ‘Formulas’ tab and clicking ‘Show Formulas,’ you can see all the underlying formulas and formatting.

What if I want to copy the formatting from one cell to another?

Use the ‘Format Painter’ tool located on the ‘Home’ tab to copy formatting from one cell and apply it to another.

Is there a way to see formatting that’s not visible, like hidden cells?

Yes, by going to the ‘Home’ tab and clicking on ‘Find & Select,’ you can choose to reveal hidden cells and other not immediately visible formatting.

Can I remove all formatting from a selection of cells?

Yes, select the cells you want to clear and go to the ‘Home’ tab, then click on ‘Clear’ and select ‘Clear Formats.’


  1. Open the Excel Workbook
  2. Select the Cells
  3. Use the Ribbon Commands
  4. Inspect the Formatting Rules


Seeing formatting in Excel 2013 is like having x-ray vision for your spreadsheets. It allows you to peer beneath the surface and understand the structure that holds your data together. Whether you’re a beginner or an Excel veteran, mastering this skill can save you time and frustration. It turns the complex tapestry of colors, borders, and fonts into a transparent map you can easily navigate. Plus, it can be a lifesaver when you inherit a workbook from someone else and need to make sense of their organizational system.

Remember, formatting isn’t just about making things pretty; it’s a functional part of data management that, when understood, can elevate your Excel game to new heights. So go on, give it a try and see how much smoother your Excel experience can be when you know how to see formatting in Excel 2013.

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