Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Tip 20: Formatting Individual Characters in a Cell
Formatting Individual Characters in a Cell
Excel cell formatting isn’t an all-or-none proposition. In some cases, you might find it helpful to be
able to format individual characters within a cell.
This technique is limited to cells that contain text. It doesn’t work if the cell contains a
value or a formula.
To apply formatting to characters within a text string, select those characters first. You can select
them by clicking and dragging your mouse on the Formula bar, or you can double-click the cell and
then click and drag the mouse to select specific characters directly in the cell. A more efficient way to
select individual characters is to press F2 first and then use the arrow keys to move between
characters and use the Shift+arrow keys to select characters.
When the characters are selected, use formatting controls to change the formatting. For example,
you can make the selected text bold, italic, or a different color; you can even apply a different font. If
you right-click, the Mini Toolbar appears, and you can use those controls to change the formatting of
the selected characters.
Figure 20-1 shows a few examples of cells that contain individual character formatting.
Unfortunately, two useful formatting attributes are not available on the Ribbon or on the Mini
Toolbar: superscript and subscript formatting. If you want to apply superscripts or subscripts, open
the Font tab in the Format Cells dialog box. Just press Ctrl+1 after you select the text to format.
Figure 20-1: Examples of individual character formatting.