How to make a spreadsheet look professional.

A woman using a laptop to create professional Excel spreadsheets.

Want to improve the looks and readability of your spreadsheets? These five simple tips will help you learn how to make a spreadsheet look professional.

Many people think that all spreadsheets look the same no matter the subject, just a collection of cells and numbers — but if you’re reading through a poorly formatted one, you’re going to notice the difference (and not in a good way). Professional formatting improves both your sheet’s readability and looks.

Here are five good tips on how to make a spreadsheet look professional.

How to format an Excel spreadsheet to look professional.

A well-formatted spreadsheet enhances readability and adds a touch of visual appeal to your data. By applying the right formatting techniques, you can make your spreadsheets look polished and organized. From aligning text and using appropriate fonts to optimizing white space and color usage, here are some steps to help you professionally format your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

1. Align text left or right.

It’s tempting to center the text in some cells, particularly those that serve as headers. However, centered text can make a spreadsheet look unbalanced. Instead, align text left and numbers right, and use bold font for header cells.

2. Leave the first row and column empty.

A cramped document looks busy and can be difficult to read. Leave the first row and column empty to introduce some breathing space into your spreadsheets.

3. Remove cell borders.

The visible grid contributes a lot to the traditional, boring spreadsheet appearance. If you’re wondering how to make spreadsheets look good, simply hide the cell borders. Then, alternate between white and light gray background colors to distinguish rows from one another.

4. Limit colors in your Excel spreadsheet.

Using too many colors can make the sheet look busy and disorienting. Limit yourself to three colors, use them sparingly, and always keep the page color white. However, you can bring some life to the sheet with data visualization tools. They can also make your data easier to read.

5. Share your Excel spreadsheets as PDF files.

Spreadsheet formatting can be notoriously finicky. If you share a spreadsheet with someone, it may look completely different on their screen depending on which application and program version they use. To keep the formatting intact, it’s a good idea to convert spreadsheets to PDF files with an Excel to PDF converter first.

How to make a spreadsheet look professional with function.

When building a professional Excel sheet, it’s important to not only focus on aesthetics but also ensure that the spreadsheet functions effectively. A well-designed spreadsheet looks polished and enables users to easily view, analyze, and interpret data.

By incorporating visual appeal and functional efficiency, you can create a spreadsheet that not only impresses with its professional appearance but also facilitates data comprehension and tells a coherent story. Here are some key tips on how to make a spreadsheet look professional while ensuring it remains functional and user-friendly:

Benefits of professional Excel spreadsheets

Creating cohesive and professional Excel spreadsheets offers several benefits. It enhances readability, making data easier to understand and interpret. A well-designed spreadsheet also conveys professionalism, attention to detail, and organization, positively impacting your reputation and credibility. Professional-looking spreadsheets facilitate efficient collaboration, allowing easy sharing and presentation of information. In addition, they can contribute to improved decision-making by helping stakeholders quickly grasp key insights without distractions.

By investing time in creating cohesive and professional Excel spreadsheets, you not only elevate the presentation of your data but also optimize communication, professionalism, and overall efficiency in data management processes.

Mistakes to avoid when creating professional Excel spreadsheets.

Creating a professional Excel spreadsheet requires attention to detail and avoiding common pitfalls. To ensure your spreadsheet looks polished and functions effectively, avoid these mistakes:

PDF converters, like Adobe Acrobat online services, make converting spreadsheets easy — just drag your sheet to the converter and download the PDF. You can then share the sheet, knowing it will look professional no matter the recipient’s device.