Custom Styles

Macabacus vs. Native Styles

You may already be familiar with Excel's native styles, accessible from the Home tab, that are used to format one or more cell properties (e.g., fonts, colors, number formats). You probably never use native styles because they cannot be accessed using keyboard shortcuts. Worse, these styles are workbook properties, so workbooks may or may not contain the styles that conform to your organization's design standard or branding guidelines.

Macabacus lets you create your own styles that combine multiple cell formatting properties, similar to native styles. Unlike native styles, however, Macabacus styles are always available in Excel, regardless of the workbook you have open, and can be applied using keyboard shortcuts. Macabacus styles include all of the important formatting possibilities of native Excel styles, and allow you to additionally specify:

  • Cell width and/or height
  • Text case (e.g., sentence, title, upper, or lower case)
  • Predefined data validation
  • A default cell value
  • A default cell comment

Style Cycles

Macabacus styles are added to one of eight Custom Style Cycles. For example, if you have three table header styles you frequently use when building models, add all three styles to a single Custom Style Cycle and rename that cycle "Table Header Cycle." Your new Custom Style Cycle can be triggered using a customizable keystroke, and will appear on the Macabacus > Format menu.

Custom Style Cycle 1-8

Cycle through customizable cell styles.



Custom Style Cycles can be managed in the Excel > Format > Styles section of the Settings dialog. Here, you can create new styles from scratch, capture the formatting of the selected cell in a new style, or create a new style using an existing Macabacus style or native Excel style as a starting point. You can also edit existing styles, reorder styles within cycles, add or remove styles from cycles.

When ordering the custom styles in a cycle, consideration should be given to each style's expected frequency of use and the number of formatting properties that each style modifies. In general, styles that are used more frequently should appear early in the cycle, and styles used less frequently should appear later in the cycle to reduce the number of shortcut keystrokes required to apply styles, on average. In addition, you should generally arrange styles that modify fewer cell formatting properties early in the cycle and those that modify more formatting properties later in the cycle.

This documentation refers to the latest Macabacus version. Some features and descriptions of these features may not apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.

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