How to Add Borders in Google Sheets: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding borders in Google Sheets is a straightforward process that can enhance the readability and aesthetic of your spreadsheet. To do this, simply select the cells you want to border, right-click to open the context menu, and then click on “Borders”. From there, you can choose the border style, color, and which sides of the cells you want the borders to be applied to. And voila, you’ve given your spreadsheet that extra bit of polish!

After you add borders to your cells, your data will stand out more, and your spreadsheet will look more organized and professional. This can be particularly useful if you’re sharing the sheet with others or presenting it in a meeting.


Borders in Google Sheets are like the cherry on top of a sundae. They’re not always necessary, but they sure do make things look better. Whether you’re a student organizing your data for a project, a business owner tracking inventory, or just someone who loves a good, clean spreadsheet, knowing how to add borders can significantly enhance your experience with Google Sheets.

Think about it, when you have a bunch of data with no clear distinction between cells, it can be tough on the eyes and hard to follow. Borders help to separate and define each cell or group of cells, making your data easier to read and understand at a glance. Plus, it adds a touch of professionalism to your work, which is always a bonus, especially in a business setting. It’s a simple technique, but it has a big impact. So let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of adding borders in Google Sheets.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding Borders in Google Sheets

Before we start, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Adding borders can help differentiate between various sections of your data, emphasize important cells, or simply make your spreadsheet look more appealing.

Step 1: Select cells

Click and drag to highlight the cells you want to add borders to.

Selecting the right cells is crucial. If you want to border a whole section, make sure to include all the cells in that section. You can select a single cell, a range of cells, or even non-adjacent cells by holding down the Ctrl key while clicking.

Step 2: Right-click and choose ‘Borders’

Right-click on the selected cells and a context menu will appear. Click on ‘Borders’.

You’ll see a variety of options for adding borders. You can add them to the outer edges, or only to the top, bottom, left, or right of the cells. You can also choose to add borders to all the inner lines between the cells you’ve highlighted.

Step 3: Customize your borders

Choose the border style, color, and where you want the borders to be applied.

Google Sheets offers different border styles such as solid, dashed, and dotted lines. You can also pick any color for your borders. This is your chance to get creative and make your spreadsheet reflect your style or adhere to your company’s branding.


Enhanced ReadabilityAdding borders makes data easier to read by clearly delineating separate cells and sections.
Increased ProfessionalismA well-organized spreadsheet with borders can look more professional and be more persuasive in a business setting.
CustomizationBorders allow for personalization of your spreadsheet, letting you add your own flair or match company color schemes.


Time-consumingIf not done efficiently, adding borders can be time-consuming, especially for large spreadsheets.
OvercomplicationToo many borders or overly decorative styles can make a spreadsheet look cluttered and confusing.
Potential for DistractionBorders that are too bold or bright might distract from the data itself.

Additional Information

While adding borders in Google Sheets is generally a simple task, there are a few additional tips and insights that can save you time and enhance your spreadsheet. Firstly, if you find yourself frequently adding the same border style to your sheets, Google Sheets allows you to copy the formatting from one set of cells to another using the paint format tool – it’s like copying and pasting for formatting, and it’s a real time-saver.

Another tip is to use conditional formatting to add borders automatically based on the data in the cells. This can be especially useful for tracking progress or highlighting outliers. And remember, while adding borders can greatly improve the appearance and functionality of your spreadsheet, it’s important not to go overboard. The key is to find the right balance that improves readability without overwhelming the viewer.


  1. Select cells you want to add borders to.
  2. Right-click and choose ‘Borders’ from the context menu.
  3. Customize your borders by choosing the style, color, and where to apply them.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add borders to individual cells?

Yes, you can add borders to individual cells by selecting the cell and following the border customization steps.

Is it possible to add diagonal borders in a cell?

Google Sheets currently does not support diagonal borders within a cell.

Can I save a border style as a default for future use?

While you cannot save border styles as defaults, you can use the paint format tool to quickly apply previously used styles to new cells.

How do I remove borders from my cells?

To remove borders, select the cells with borders, right-click, choose ‘Borders’, and then select ‘Clear borders’.

Does Google Sheets offer different border colors?

Yes, you can choose from a variety of colors when customizing your borders in Google Sheets.


Adding borders in Google Sheets may seem like a small detail, but it can have a big impact on the presentation and clarity of your data. Whether you’re looking to make your spreadsheet easier to read, more visually appealing, or aligning it with your company’s brand, borders can help you achieve that.

Remember, it’s all about finding the right balance—too few borders and your data might blend together, too many and it could become an overwhelming mess. So go ahead, give your Google Sheets that extra pop with some well-placed borders, and watch your data come alive!

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