Formatting elements: Backgrounds (How to)

Last week I talked about the do’s and don’ts of background formatting in tables, and this week I’m going to talk about how to actually format the background of a cell in various programs.

In Excel 97:

  1. Click on the header for the Format menu or type alt-o.
  2. In the menu that opens, click on “Cells…” or type “e”.
  3. In the window that appears, click on the “Patterns” tab.
  4. Click on the color you want.
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

In Excel 2007:

  1. Go to the Home tab.
  2. Find the Cells group. In my version it’s 2nd from the right.
  3. In the Cells group, click on “Format”.
  4. In the menu that appears, click on “Format Cells…” or type E.
  5. In the window that pops up, click on the “Fill” tab.
  6. Click on the color you want, or on “More colors…” to pick one that’s not shown. Excel 2007 will let you specify colors by their RGB (Red, Green, Blue) or HSL (Hue, Saturation, Luminosity) values.
  7. If you want a gradient from one color to another click on the button for “Fill Effects…” and choose your colors/gradient direction in the window that appears.
  8. Click on the OK button.

In Google Spreadsheet:

  1. In the row of buttons, look for and click on the pale A on the dark background.
  2. In the menu that pops up, click on the color you want or on “Custom” for more options. Google Docs will let you specify a color by HTML code.

In OpenOffice Calc:

  1. Click on the header for the Format menu or type alt-o.
  2. In the menu that opens, click on “Cells…” or type “L”.
  3. In the window that appears, click on the “Background” tab.
  4. Click on the color you want.
  5. Click on the “OK” button.

In Microsoft Works Spreadsheet:

  1. Click on the header for the Format menu or type alt-o.
  2. In the menu that opens, click on “Shading…” or type “d”.
  3. In the window that appears, click on the color you want in the “Select Color” box.
  4. Click on the “OK” button.