Change the font or font size in Excel

You can change the font or font size for selected cells or ranges in a worksheet. You can also change the default (default: A predefined setting. You can accept the default option settings, or you can change them to suit your own preferences.) font and font size that are used in new workbooks.

What do you want to do?


Change the font or font size in a worksheet

  1. Select the cell, range of cells, text, or characters that you want to format.

ShowHow to select cells, ranges, rows, or columns

To select Do this
A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range of cells

Click the first cell in the range, and then drag to the last cell, or hold down SHIFT while you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

You can also select the first cell in the range, and then press F8 to extend the selection by using the arrow keys. To stop extending the selection, press F8 again.

A large range of cells Click the first cell in the range, and then hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell in the range. You can scroll to make the last cell visible.
All cells on a worksheet

Click the Select All button.

Select All button

To select the entire worksheet, you can also press CTRL+A.

 Note   If the worksheet contains data, CTRL+A selects the current region. Pressing CTRL+A a second time selects the entire worksheet.

Nonadjacent cells or cell ranges

Select the first cell or range of cells, and then hold down CTRL while you select the other cells or ranges.

You can also select the first cell or range of cells, and then press SHIFT+F8 to add another nonadjacent cell or range to the selection. To stop adding cells or ranges to the selection, press SHIFT+F8 again.

 Note   You cannot cancel the selection of a cell or range of cells in a nonadjacent selection without canceling the entire selection.

An entire row or column

Click the row or column heading.

Worksheet showing row heading and column heading

Callout 1 Row heading
Callout 2 Column heading

You can also select cells in a row or column by selecting the first cell and then pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).

 Note   If the row or column contains data, CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key selects the row or column to the last used cell. Pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ARROW key a second time selects the entire row or column.

Adjacent rows or columns Drag across the row or column headings. Or select the first row or column; then hold down SHIFT while you select the last row or column.
Nonadjacent rows or columns Click the column or row heading of the first row or column in your selection; then hold down CTRL while you click the column or row headings of other rows or columns that you want to add to the selection.
The first or last cell in a row or column Select a cell in the row or column, and then press CTRL+ARROW key (RIGHT ARROW or LEFT ARROW for rows, UP ARROW or DOWN ARROW for columns).
The first or last cell on a worksheet or in a Microsoft Office Excel table

Press CTRL+HOME to select the first cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list.

Press CTRL+END to select the last cell on the worksheet or in an Excel list that contains data or formatting.

Cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner) Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+END to extend the selection of cells to the last used cell on the worksheet (lower-right corner).
Cells to the beginning of the worksheet Select the first cell, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+HOME to extend the selection of cells to the beginning of the worksheet.
More or fewer cells than the active selection Hold down SHIFT while you click the last cell that you want to include in the new selection. The rectangular range between the active cell (active cell: The selected cell in which data is entered when you begin typing. Only one cell is active at a time. The active cell is bounded by a heavy border.) and the cell that you click becomes the new selection.

 Tip   To cancel a selection of cells, click any cell on the worksheet.


  1. On the Home tab, in the Font group, do the following:
    • To change the font, click the font that you want in the Font box Font box.
    • To change the font size, click the font size that you want in the Font Size box Font Size box, or click Increase Font Size Button image or Decrease Font Size Button image until the size you want is displayed in the Font Size box.

Excel Ribbon Image

 Notes 

ShowHow to make all text in a cell visible

  1. Select the cell that contains text that is only partially visible.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To wrap the text, click Wrap Text Button image in the Alignment group on the Home tab.
    • To shrink the text so that it fits in the cell, click the Dialog Box Launcher Button image next to Alignment on the Home tab, and then select the Shrink to fit check box under Text control.

Excel Ribbon Image


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Change the default font or font size for new workbooks

  1. Click the File tab.
  1. Under Excel, click Options.
  2. In the General category, under When creating new workbooks, do the following:
    1. In the Use this font box, click the font that you want to use.
    2. In the Font Size box, enter the font size that you want to use.
  3. Click any other tab to return to your file.

 Note   In order to begin using the new default font and font size, you must restart Excel. The new default font and font size are used only in new workbooks that you create after you restart Excel; existing workbooks are not affected. To use the new default font, you can move worksheets from an existing workbook to a new workbook. For more information, see Move or copy a worksheet.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010