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Excel: Formatting Professional-looking Spreadsheets

Class Sessions

Date Delivery Method Cost
  • Thu Dec 14, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Live Online - 1 session $300
  • Wed Mar 20, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
Live Online - 1 session $300

Class Code


Class Description

Before each sesson, Tech Training will provide a Zoom link for live online classes, along with any required class materials.

Note: This class offers an option for online and in-classroom sessions. Participants attending an in-person class will need to adhere to the Stanford Health Check guidelines.


Platforms: Windows (PC) or Mac
Required: Install the latest Microsoft 365 (subscription-based, free with your SUNet ID) from

Would you like to improve the look and feel of your spreadsheets? This class puts you on the road to learning the ins and outs of Excel formatting tools, such as colors, borders and shading, numbers and dates, styles, and conditional formatting.

If you feel your spreadsheets could be presented professionally with data displayed exactly the way you want, you found the right class. 

Great formatting is what makes professional spreadsheets stand out from the crowd. It makes them beautiful, easy to understand, and immediately more useful. And the focus of this class is formatting Excel spreadsheets.

When in class, we start with a brief review of the formatting tools on the ribbon and quickly dive into direct-formatting techniques. After getting comfortable with font, borders, and cell color formatting, we will ease into formatting with styles and tables. 

We will pay special attention to formatting numbers and explore the realm of somewhat confusing but extremely flexible and easy-to-use formatting codes. We will cover the ¿Format Cells¿ dialog box ¿ the one tool to rule them all that is a gold standard of cell formatting that gives you full control when it comes to number formatting. 

We will also take a quick look at conditional formatting, which gives spreadsheets amazing chameleon-like qualities and makes them more impressive than before.

List of topics:

  • The ribbon formatting tools overview
  • Borders, cell fill, and fonts formatting
  • Format with styles
  • Create custom styles
  • Copying formatting
  • Formatting with Tables
  • General format
  • The Format Cells dialog box
  • All about number formatting
  • Formatting dates
  • Create custom number and date formats with formatting codes
  • Using Stanford brand colors in Excel spreadsheets
  • Introduction to Conditional Formatting
  • Formatting tables, pivot tables, and floating objects

This class will help provide the knowledge, skills, and ideas necessary for making your spreadsheets more beautiful, professional-looking, and easier to work with.

University IT Technology Training classes are only available to Stanford University staff, faculty, students, and Stanford Hospitals & Clinics employees, including Stanford Health Care, Stanford Health Care Tri-Valley, Stanford Medicine Partners, and Stanford Medicine Children's Health. A valid SUNet ID is needed to enroll in a class.