When you working with borders in Excel, you may want to turn off gridlines so you can more easily see what you’re doing. In Windows, you can turn gridlines on and off with Alt W + VG On a mac, tick the setting on the Layout tab of the ribbon. So, first off, you can remove all borders with Control + Shift + _ in Windows, Command + Option + _ on a Mac. This removes all borders but it doesn’t affect any content or other formatting. Also, Paste special has an option to copy cells without borders, which can be useful when you’re coping data with borders. Finally, you can use clear formats to remove borders, but keep in mind that you’ll also loose other formatting as well. In Windows, Clear Formats is Alt H, EF. On a Mac, there are a number of dedicated shortcuts for borders. The Mac version lets you toggle borders on the right, left, top, and bottom using Command + Option + with the respective arrow keys. I don’t think this is very useful myself, because you can’t control the line width or color. On Windows, you can do something similar with Ribbon shortcuts, using Alt H, BA to apply all borders. Again, you don’t have control over line thickness and color. You can also apply borders with the Alt key, but only in the Borders tab of the Format cells dialog. Use control + 1 on Windows, command + 1 on a Mac to open Format Cells, then control tab to Borders. There you can toggle the right, left, top, and bottom borders with Alt + R, L, T, and B, respectively. And once you’ve used Alt, you don’t have to keep using it. Toggle interior borders using D for diagonals, H for Horizontal, and V for vertical. Finally, you can use Alt N to clear borders, O for outside and I for inside borders. Each border you apply will follow the current settings for line width and color. Also, remember that you can use repeat last action to apply borders. Even though the ribbon has numerous setting for borders, in general, I’d recommend that you always apply borders with the Format Cells dialog. No matter where you are on the Ribbon, Format cells will give you a nice preview, and easy access to all border settings.

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.