Adding Cell Borders in Excel

Do you prefer using the button or the line?

There are two quick and easy ways to apply borders to cells in Excel, and I'm curious to know what your go-to method is.

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Cell Borders

While the Border dropdown on the Home tab offers a standard set of options, sometimes you may need more customization.

Border Dropdown Menu

That's when we can go to the Format Cells window by clicking on More Borders. (You can also access this window by pressing Ctrl + 1.)

On the Border tab of the Format Cells window, we have two options for adding and removing borders.

Format Cells window. 2 options for adding borders

Technique 1: Using the Border Buttons

One way to apply cell borders is by using the buttons provided. Clicking these buttons and then hitting OK allows you to apply borders to selected cells immediately.

Buttons for adding borders

This method is straightforward and convenient for quickly adding common border styles.

Technique 2: Using the Preview Diagram

Another approach is to utilize the Preview Diagram within the Format Cells window. Instead of relying solely on buttons, you can interact directly with the preview diagram to toggle borders on and off. Clicking on the lines in the diagram enables or disables specific borders, providing more detailed control over the appearance of cell borders.

Preview diagram allows you to toggle border lines on or off.

This method offers greater customization, ideal for intricate border designs tailored to your needs.


Both techniques for adding cell borders in Excel have their advantages. While buttons offer simplicity and ease of use, the lines in the preview diagram provide better customization options. Ultimately, the choice between these methods depends on your preference.

I'm curious to know which technique you use: the buttons or the lines? Leave a comment and let us know.

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