#298 Excel Zebra Stripes

I’ve been a longtime fan of shading alternate rows of your spreadsheet to make it easier to read.  I’ve also share how you can do something similar and a bit more dynamic with dividing lines.

In the original tip on shading rows we just saw how to shade every other row. This week I’d like to show you how you can tweak that to suit your needs or preferences.  The table functionality of Excel 2010 makes this kind of thing a snap.

Formatting as a Table

Excel 2010 has some built-in table formatting that let’s  you do this shading without needing any formulas, etc. Just go to the Format as Table button and select a format you like.

Customizing Existing Table Formats

Pretty cool huh? Now here’s how you can customize these and make them even better.

1. In the Table Design area, right-click the style you want to modify and make a Duplicate. ( You can just modify the current one if you prefer, but then that formatting will be lost. )

2. Excel will make a copy of that table style and opens a dialogue box where that allows you to adjust the formatting.

3. To change the number of alternating shaded rows click on First Row Stripe and select how many stripes you’d like to repeat before they change.

4. Also do this for the Second Row Stripe too. Note that they don’t have to be the same number.

5.  When you have it the way you like, click OK & save it. Now it’s available from your Table styles gallery anytime you need it.

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