Formatting Your First Spreadsheet

Formatting Your First Spreadsheet

Formatting Your First Spreadsheet

How to Start in an Online Business

Phase 2 – Step 5


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Formatting Your First Spreadsheet

Formatting Spreadsheets

If you are familiar with the process of creating Spreadsheets, that’s great. Continue on with this post, where you will be Formatting Your First Spreadsheet. However, if you have never completed this process before, please see my Support Post:  Spreadsheet Formatting Guidelines  before continuing here.


Since you are only in the setup stage for your business, you have no Income yet, but you probably have already incurred some Expenses. So, we will start with the Expenses part of setting up your business Books, beginning with your Business Startup Expenses Spreadsheet.


Before you begin Formatting Your First Spreadsheet, check to see what your Default Font Size is by clicking on any cell. If it is not the size that you prefer to use for your information cells, you should highlight all of the cells in Columns ‘A’ thru ‘P’ and Lines 1 thru 200. Then, click on the Font Size of your choosing. Also, check that Bolding is not on. That way, all of the cells that will contain the majority of your information will be sized and not bolded correctly. You will only need to change the cells that will have a different Font Size and/or Bolded.


Since your 1st Spreadsheet, titled: Business Startup Expenses, is an Expense Spreadsheet, use the following Shading Format:

    • Title Shading: Red (with White Font)
    • Categories, Headings and Sub-Headings:  Yellow
    • Column Headings:  as stated in the instructions
    • Sub-Total, TOTAL, & GRAND TOTAL:  Red (with White Font)


Creating your Title, Business Start Date, & Initial Category Headings


So, using my Standard Formatting Guidelines, let’s begin Formatting your 1st Spreadsheet:

1. Key in your Spreadsheet Title: Business Startup Expenses and use the following:

    • Font Size – 24 pt.
    • Shading – Red
    • Font Color – White
    • Shade Cells ‘A1’ thru ‘G1’

2. Then, Right click on cell: ‘A1’ and click on:  Copy.

3. Click on the: Save Icon (in your Toolbar), Paste into ‘File Name’ window and click on:  Save.

4. Leave a blank Row.

5. Create your ‘Main Heading’ in cell ‘A3’, titled:  Home Office (16 pt. Font).

6. Shade cells ‘A3’ & ‘B3’:  Yellow.

7. Leave 1 blank Row.

8. In ‘B5’, Key in:  Business Startup Date (10 pt., Bold). Your Startup Date will appear in cell:  ‘A5’.

9. To Format cell ‘A5, in your Toolbar, click on:  Format, then, Number. Now, choose: Date, Set date format, (check the Preview), and click on:  OK. Then Key in your ‘Start Date’ into that cell.

10. Leave 3 blank Rows.

11. In ‘A9’, Key in:  Direct & Indirect Repair Exp. (14 pt. Font)

12. In ‘E9’, Key in:  Direct Repair Expenses (14 pt. Font)


(Your text in those two cells will initially run over into other cells. This will be fixed in the next step by widening certain Columns.)


Creating your Column Headings


Now you will create your ‘Column Headings’ (according to the Standard Formatting Guidelines) (12 pt. Font, Bold, Center Aligned, Shade as indicated), as well as change some Column Widths. Key in and Format the following cells:

    • ‘A11’:  Cost (10 characters wide) Shade:  Red (with White Font)
    • ‘B11’:  Items (30 characters wide) Shade:  Turquoise
    • ‘C11’:  L. E. (Life Expectancy) (6 characters wide) Shade:  Yellow
    • ‘D11’:  Start Date (10 characters wide) Shade:  Red (with White Font)
    • ‘E11’:  Add Up Items (30 characters wide or as needed) ShadeTurquoise
    • ‘F11’:  Est. Value (10 characters wide) Shade:  Red (with White Font)
    • ‘G11’:  Percentage (10 characters wide) Shade:  Yellow


(Estimated Value is used for Column ‘F’, rather than Cost, since there is a good chance that you will not have saved Receipts for all of these items.)


Now, complete the following:

  1. In ‘B13’, Key in:  Direct Repair Expenses – 100% (10 pt. Font, not Bolded)
  2. In ‘B14’, Key in:  Indirect Repair Expenses – (your Home Office Use Percentage) (10 pt. Font, not Bolded)
  3. In ‘C13’ & ‘C14’, Key in:  1
  4. Leave a blank Row.
  5. In ‘B16’, Key in:  Sub-Total (12pt. Font, Bold)
  6. In ‘A16’ and ‘B16’, Shade:  Red (with White Font)
  7. Leave 3 blank Rows after Sub-Total.


Creating your Other Headings & Sub-Headings


The following ‘Headings’ will be Keyed in to the suggested cells. When you add your ‘Items’ under each ‘Heading’, you will add or delete Rows as needed, so that you end up having one blank Row between your last entry in the Category and your Sub-Total Row. (Shade all Headings & Sub-Headings: Yellow).


Now, in Column ‘A’, Key in the following ‘Headings’ & ‘Sub-Headings’ in the suggested cells:

    • ‘A20’:  Equipment (14 pt. Font, Bold)
    • ‘A47’:  Computer & Office Supplies (14 pt. Font, Bold)
    • ‘A69’:  Furniture & Fixtures (14 pt. Font, Bold)
    • ‘A92’:  Vehicles (16 pt. Font, Bold)
    • ‘A106’:  Other Expenses (16 pt. Font, Bold)


(Use appropriate Font Size, Bolding, and Shading for all ‘Headings’. These cell numbers are an approximate placement. You will be adding or deleting Rows as appropriate to the number of items that you list under each Heading, including the appropriate blank Rows.)


Now, in Column ‘E’, Key in the following ‘Sub-Headings’ in the suggested cells (14 pt. Font, Bold):

    • ‘E26’:  Indirect Repair Expenses
    • ‘E38’:  Misc. Computer Supplies
    • ‘E63’:  Misc. Office Supplies


(Adding or deleting Rows in these ‘Sub-Headings’ may affect your entries in Columns ‘A’ thru ‘D’, so be careful not to eliminate any of your entries. Do you best to maintain the correct number of blank Rows, but it is OK to have more or less if necessary.)


Copy & Paste Your Column Headings


Now, you will Copy & Paste specific Column Headings into other areas in your Spreadsheet as follows:

  1. Copy cells:  ‘A11thruD11’ and Paste into the ‘AthruD’ cells in the following Rows:
    • 22, 49, 71, 94, & 108

2. Copy cells:  ‘E11’ thru ‘G11’ and Paste into the ‘E’ thru ‘G’ cells in Row:  28

3. Copy cells:  ‘E11’ & ‘F11’ and Paste into the ‘E’ & ‘F’ cells in Rows:  40 & 65


Copy & Paste Your Sub-Total


  1. Copy cells:  ‘A16’ and ‘B16’, and Paste into the ‘A & B’ cells in the following Rows:
    • 43, 65, 88, 102, & 135

2. Copy cell:  ‘B16’, and Paste into the ‘E’ cell in the following Rows:

    • 22, 34, 59, & 109

3. Copy cell:  ‘A16’ and Paste into the ‘F’cell in the same Rows:

    • 22, 34, 59, & 109


Create ‘All Sub-Totals’ Area


Key in the following into the suggested cells (12 pt. Font, BoldShade: Red (with White Font):

    • ‘A139’:  Cost (12 pt. Font, BoldShade:  Red (with White Font)
    • ‘B139’:  All Sub-Totals (12 pt. Font, BoldShade:  Red (with White Font)


Key in the following into the suggested cells (10 pt. Font, Bold):

    • ‘B141’:  Direct & Indirect Expenses
    • ‘B142’:  Equipment
    • ‘B143’:  Computer Supplies & Office Supplies
    • ‘B144’:  Furniture & Fixtures
    • ‘B145’:  Vehicles
    • ‘B146’:  Other Expenses

Leave 2 blank Rows.

In Cell ‘B149’, Key in:  ‘GRAND TOTAL’ (12 pt. Font, Bold, all Caps).


Also Add


Key in the following in the suggested cells:

    • ‘B62’:  misc. computer supplies
    • ‘B63’:  misc. office supplies


Congratulations! Your 1st Spreadsheet has been formatted!


Make sure that you Save it, but don’t close it out. Minimize it, as you will be coming back to fill in the remaining needed information soon.


Please leave a Comment or ask a Question in the Comments section below.


When you are ready, continue on to my next Post:  Working On Your First Spreadsheet – Phase 2 – Step 7.


Thank you,

CJ Dodaro

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About Author

CJ Dodaro
I am a semi-retired, 65 year young man who has owned and operated a variety of successful business throughout my life. Starting most from scratch, I have acquired extensive knowledge for what is required for setting up a business properly from the ground up. Since these businesses have been both the brick & mortar type as well as the online variety, I feel qualified to help people in almost any business area that they wish to pursue. I wish to share the information that I have acquired in order to help other aspiring entrepreneurs become successful.

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