Let’s take a look. To apply a fill, start by selecting the cells you want to fill. Then, open the Format Cells dialog box and navigate to the Fill tab. There are two basic types of fills. The first is a solid background color. Just select the color you’d like to use from the color grid. You’ll see the color appear below in the sample area. When you’re happy with the color, just click OK to apply. The second basic fill option is a gradient fill. To apply a gradient, click the Fill Effects button. You can then define the gradient you like. Click OK to accept the gradient and see a preview in the sample area. And OK again to apply the fill. In addition to solid and gradient fills, you can apply a pattern to a solid fill.  First, select the background color as usual. Then, select the pattern and a suitable color. The pattern sits on top of the background and has its own color. Click OK to apply. Patterns and gradients are interesting, but you’ll probably find that solid fills are more useful all around. Note that you can apply basic solid fills using the Fill Color menu on the ribbon located in the Font group. When you use the ribbon, Excel will build a live preview of the fill applied to the worksheet in the background as you move your mouse across the color grid. The Fill Color menu on the ribbon also has a handy option to remove all fills. Select the cells that have the fill you’d like to remove and choose No Fill from the menu.  

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.