How to Shade in a Quadrant in Excel

By Filonia LeChat

The default view of an Excel spreadsheet is a lot of white faintly bisected by light gray lines. After you’ve filled a spreadsheet with business data, your chosen font color will break up the white, but another way to delineate parts of a spreadsheet from the rest are through shading. Shading a quadrant, for example, brings the viewer’s eye directly to that block of information and can give a view of heightened sales or extraordinary company efforts, for example. Shading in Excel is also a way to customize your spreadsheet with company-supported colors.

Start Microsoft Excel and open the spreadsheet file with the quadrant to shade.

Click a corner cell in the quadrant. Hold down the left mouse button and drag until the entire quadrant is highlighted.

Right-click anywhere in the highlighted section and choose “Format Cells."

In the Format Cells dialog box click the “Fill” tab.

Click one of the small colored squares to fill the quadrant with color. Click the “More Colors” button for other color options.

Click the “OK” button when satisfied. The “Format Cells” window closes and you are returned to the spreadsheet with the quadrant shaded.

Click the “File” tab and select “Save As.” To overwrite the original with this newly shaded one, click the “Save” button. To protect the original and create a new copy, type a new file name in the field and then click the “Save” button.


You can also create a quadrant from scratch. Simply click the cursor into a cell on the blank grid and then drag. The cells will become highlighted in the default Excel blue. When you have your quadrant selected, follow the same shading process.