How to Put Border Lines Around Each Cell in Excel

Frame cells in your Excel spreadsheet by applying a border.
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Microsoft Excel makes it simple to get started entering spreadsheet data of your grades, hourly earnings or even your MP3 track listings, and the application displays your data in neat, organized rows and columns on the screen. The thin lines that separate each cell don’t actually show up when you print your spreadsheet or convert it to a PDF, so you have to tell Excel to add borders. Don’t be discouraged if you have an almost endless spreadsheet, as you can put border lines around each cell with just a few clicks.

Launch Excel and open your spreadsheet to apply border formatting.

Press and hold down the “Ctrl” key, and then press the “A” key. As you press both together, you’ll notice Excel selects the entire grid, which becomes highlighted in default blue.

Click the "Home" tab if it is not enabled.

Click the small drop-down arrow on the "Border" button, which is in the Font section of the ribbon.

Click the “All Borders” option, which looks like a window pane of four squares, from the drop-down menu. The border is applied to all the lines in all of the cells on the grid.

  • These instructions apply to Microsoft Excel 2013 as well as Excel 2010.
  • You can also use the cell selector button, in the top left corner of the grid, diagonally between the “A” column header and the “1” row header. Click this button to select all of the cells, and then follow the same process.

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.