Excel spreadsheets can become very difficult to read as they expand to include more rows and columns. This is especially true of spreadsheets that are larger than your screen and require you to scroll in a direction that removes the column or row headings from view. One way to combat this problem with reading Excel data on your screen is to fill a cell with color. If you want to learn how to fill a cell with color in Excel, then maybe you have seen other people create multi-colored spreadsheets that consist of a number of different filled cells that run for the entire length of a row or column. While initially this might seem like an exercise that is simply meant to make a spreadsheet appear more attractive, it actually serves an important function by letting the document viewer know what row a particular piece of data is contained within.
How to Fill Color in Excel
Microsoft Excel 2010 includes a specific tool that you can use to fill a selected cell with a certain color. You can even choose the color that you want to use to fill that cell. That tool is accessed by clicking the Home tab at the top of the Excel window, and is circled in the image below.
For example, when I am creating a large spreadsheet, I like to use colors that are distinctly different, but are not so distracting that the document becomes hard to read. If the text in your cells is black, then you will want to avoid using darker fill colors. Sticking to colors like yellow, light green, light blue and orange will make it very easy for someone to recognize the different cells, but they will not have any difficulty reading the data within them. This is the most important part, because the data is still the reason that the spreadsheet exists in the first place.
To add color to the background of your cell, you must first click the cell to select it. Click the drop-down arrow to the right of the Fill color icon, then click the color that you want to apply to the selected cell. The background color will change to the color that you selected. If you want to know how to change fill color in Excel 2010, simply click the cell with the fill color that you want to change, then click the Fill color drop-down arrow and choose a different color.
If you are not able to change the fill color using this method, then there is some other formatting rule applied to your cell that you need to adjust. Read this article to learn about removing conditional formatting from Excel.
How to Fill a Row With Color in Excel or How to Fill a Column With Color in Excel
The process for applying color to a row or column in Excel is nearly the same as how to apply fill color in Excel to a single cell. Start by clicking the row or column label (either a letter or number) that you want to apply the fill color to. Once clicked, the entire row should be selected. Click the Fill color icon in the ribbon, then click the color that you want to apply to that row or column. Additionally, if you want to learn how to change the fill color in a row or column in Excel, simply select the filled column or row and use the Fill color icon to select a different color.
By using these methods to apply fill colors to your Excel spreadsheet, you can make it much easier to see which row or column a particular cell is included within. The image below is an example of a spreadsheet that has been completely colored in, which should give you an idea of what you can do with this tool.
Organizing data in this fashion is not particularly necessary when you are dealing with such a small amount of data but, for larger spreadsheets, it can make locating specific types of information much simpler.