See all How-To Articles

Outline Cells (Apply All Borders) in Excel & Google Sheets

In this tutorial, you will learn how to outline cells by applying all borders in Excel.

apply all borders 2

There are plenty of options for formatting with borders in Excel. Let’s see how to apply and remove all borders to a cell or range of cells and look at advanced options such as border type, thickness, and color.

Apply All Borders

For this example, let’s apply all borders to a range of cells. In this case, we’re outlining the table heading cells (B2:D2). First, (1) select the range. Then, in the Ribbon, (2) go to the Home tab and (3) click on the arrow beside the border icon in the Font part. In the menu, we (4) select All Borders.

cells apply all borders 2

As a result, we get the borders around cells B2:D2, and the heading of the table is outlined.

cells outline excel 2

Thick Outside Borders

Another option is setting thick outside borders. This option creates a thick outline around the selected range of cells. We’ll use the same example but now set thick outside borders for the headings (B2:D2). First, (1) select the range. Then, in the Ribbon, (2) go to the Home tab and (3) click on the arrow beside the border icon in the Font part. In the menu, we’ll (4) select Thick Outside Borders.

thick outside borders 1

As a result, cells B2:D2 have now have thick outside borders.

thick outside borders 2a

Not only are these borders more noticeable than in the first example, where we applied All Borders, but they also outline the table headings rather than each individual cell.

Set Borders Using Format Cells

An alternative option for setting borders is using the Format Cells menu in the Font tab. First, (1) select the range (B2:D2). Then, in the Ribbon, (2) go to the Home tab and (3) click on Font Settings (the arrow in the bottom right corner of the Font tab).

font settings border 1

Now in the Format Cells screen which appears, (1) go to the Border tab, and in the Presets part, (2) click on Outline.

font settings border 2a

As you can see in the preview all four borders are set; therefore, our selected range of cells (B2:D2), are outlined.

font settings border outline 2

Remove Cell Borders

To remove borders from a cell or a range of cells, first (1) select the range where we want the borders to be removed (B2:D2). Then (2) go to the Home tab and (3) click on the arrow beside the border icon in the Font part. In the menu, we’ll (4) select No Border.

cells no borders 2

As a result, all borders from the selected range are removed.

all borders removed 2

Change Border Color

If we want to change the color of our borders, we can do this before outlining the range. First, (1) select the range where we want the borders to be applied (B2:D2). Then (2) go to the Home tab and (3) click on the arrow beside the border icon in the Font part. In the menu, we’ll (4) go to Line color and (5) click on a color (in our case, Light Green).

cells borders color 2a

Now, the chosen color is set for every border that we apply after this change. Therefore, we’ll apply the thick outside border in green. First, (1) select the range (B2:D2). Then, in the Ribbon, (2) go to the Home tab and (3) click on the arrow beside the border icon in the Font part. In the menu, we’ll (4) select Thick Outside Borders.

thick outside borders 1

The result is a thick green outside border for the headings (B2:D2), as we can see in the picture below.

green color outside border 2

Apply All Borders in Google Sheets

Using the same example, we’ll explain how to apply all borders to cells in Google Sheets. First, (1) select the range (B2:D2) and (2) choose the Borders icon in the toolbar. Now, we can choose from offered options, and (3) click on All Borders.

borders google sheets 2

As a result, the heading of our table (cells B2:D2) now has all borders applied.

borders google sheets 2

Border Style in Google Sheets

If we want to change border color in Google Sheets, we first need to change border settings. To do this (1) click on the Borders icon in the toolbar, then (2) go to Border color, and (3) choose a color (for example, green).

border color google sheets 2

In the same way, we can also change the border style. First, (1) click on the Borders icon in the toolbar, then (2) go to Border style, and (3) choose a style (in this case, the third option: the thickest line style).

border style google sheets 2

If we set all borders again, we’ll get thick, green borders around (and between) cells B2:D2.

google sheets border style 2