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Microsoft Excel 2010

Fill Cell with Attention Grabbing Gradient

SUMMARY: Add a dual-color gradient to title or header cells in an Excel 2010 worksheet; several styles are available.

It's easy to color the background of a cell in a Microsoft Excel 2010 worksheet. Just click the "Home" tab of the Ribbon, then in the "Font" section click the "Fill Color" button (the paint bucket icon).

However, what if you want to grab more attention than with a drab mono-color fill? Here's how to add a dual-color gradient fill to a selected cell or group of cells in your worksheet. Note that this looks best on only the title and/or header text and not for cells containing actual data, though if you really want to, you can...

Example gradient fill in an Excel 2010 worksheet

1. Select the desired cell (or cells).

2. Access the "Format Cells" dialog box. There are many ways to do this, including right-clicking a selected cell and choosing "Format Cells", or pressing CTRL + SHIFT + F.

3. When the "Format Cells" dialog box appears, click the "Fill" tab.

4. Click the "Fill Effects" button.

Accessing "Fill Effects" in Excel 2010

5. The "Fill Effects" dialog box appears. The "Two colors" radio button should be selected. Choose your two colors for the gradient fill by clicking the pull-downs underneath "Color 1" and "Color 2". Note both pull-downs include a "More Colors" link so you can choose from any color, not just the ones shown.

6. Underneath "Shading styles", choose from one of the following options:

* Horizontal
* Vertical
* Diagonal Up
* Diagonal Down
* From corner
* From center

7. After choosing any effect except for "From center", click on a box underneath "Variants" to choose a fill variant. Note the "Sample" box - this will show how your fill should look in the worksheet.

Choosing gradient fill options in Excel 2010

8. When done, click "OK" on the dialog boxes to implement your desired fill.

Return to the Microsoft Excel 2010 page.

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