Working with Fills, Shading, and Color
For a simple but dramatic effect, try adding fills, shading, and color to the cells in your worksheets. Add some zest to the appearance of your worksheets by using splashes of color to illuminate some of your data. Excel provides a way to fill cells with colors and color patterns.
Adding Background Patterns and Colors with the Format Cells Dialog Box
One way to add background colors and patterns is via the Format Cells dialog box. Color adds plain color and overall shading to cells.
A pattern is a black-and-white or colored pattern that lies on top of the overall shading. Patterns put texture into color, creating a more interesting eye- catcher than a plain color. Keep in mind that a pattern is busier than a plain color, so you don't want to use a pattern on a busy worksheet.
The following steps walk you through adding background colors and patterns to selected cells in the Summary sheet.
Select the cells you want to shade ; in this case, select cells A4:A12.
Click the Format menu and choose Cells. The Format Cells dialog box opens.
Click the Patterns tab. The shading options jump to the front, as shown in Figure 47.3. The Color options let you choose a color for the overall shading. The Pattern options let you select a black-and-white or colored pattern that lies on top of the overall shading. The Sample box displays a preview of the result.
Figure 47.3. Shading options in the Format Cells dialog box.
In the top Color palette, in the last row, sixth column, click the pale blue color patch.
Click the down arrow next to Pattern. You should see a grid that contains all the colors from the color palette, as well as patterns
In the first row, last column, click the 6.25% gray pattern. This subtle pattern suits the data on the worksheet.
Click OK. You should see shading with a pattern in the selected cells.
Click any cell to deselect the range. Figure 47.4 shows the shaded pattern on the Summary sheet.
Figure 47.4. Shaded pattern in a range of cells.