How to modify default cell styles in Excel

In this article, we will learn How to modify default cell styles in Excel.


A style is a named group of formatting characteristics. In Excel, we have default recommended styles to apply cell formatting to a cell. We use cell style depending on the requirements like heading style, subtotal style or Grand total style. But problems occur when we need to modify any of the recommended styles in the Cell style option. Let's learn how to change or modify cell styles in Excel.

Cell styles in Excel

To find the Cell Style option, Go to Home tab > Styles group > Select the More dropdown arrow in the style gallery > at the bottom of the gallery > Select New Cell Style.

You can also select from the recommended styles as mentioned below.

  • Good, Bad or Neutral
  • Data and Model (for Calculation and comments)
  • Titles and Headings
  • Themed Cell Styles
  • Number Format
  • New Cell Style
  • Merge Styles

Right click any of the above options to Modify. Select Modify > Format.

Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. Let's understand how to use the function using an example. Here we have a sample table and we need to change the formatting of the table different from the recommended styles.

There are two ways to do the task. First one is to apply style and then format the desired cell under the Home tab. Second method is convenient if you need to save the changes for upcoming similar tasks. Here we need to modify cell styles. So to modify cell styles follow the below steps

Select the cells and Go to Home tab > Styles group as shown below.

Under Titles and Headings, Right click any type of style from the options ( Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 , Title or Total).

Select Modify as shown in the image above.

This will open the Style Modify dialog box. Select the desired options by ticking and unticking which are not required.

Now To modify Formatting. Go to Format from the same dialog box and custom change your cell styles in Excel.

Click Ok to confirm format changes and Again Click Ok to confirm style settings. Now you can use the modified cell style in Excel. You can Perform these style in any version of Excel.

As you know now,  how to change Cell Style on the data. This is easy, convenient and used as common practice. You can also select the cells and create your cell format on the Home tab, choosing border, Font Style, Font Color, Font Size, Bold, Italic, Underline, lined borders and Cell Color.

Here are all the observational notes using the formula in Excel
Notes :

  1. Create your own cell style using New Cell Style option.
  2. Combine two or more cell styles using Merge Style option.

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