Change the format or font used for text

  1. Select the cell (cell: A box formed by the intersection of a row and column in a worksheet or a table, in which you enter information.), range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) of cells, text, or characters (character: A letter, number, punctuation mark, or symbol.) that you want to format.

ShowHow to select a cell, a range, or text

To select Do this
The contents of a cell

If the option to edit directly in a cell is turned on, double-click the cell, and then select the contents of the cell.

If the option to edit directly in a cell is turned off, select the cell, and then select the contents of the cell in the formula bar.

Formula bar

You can also press F2 to edit the active cell, use the arrow keys to position the insertion point, and then press SHIFT+ARROW KEY to select the contents.

A single cell Click the cell, or press the arrow keys to move to the cell.
A range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) 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.

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.

 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.
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.

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

  1. On the Formatting toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you can use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, point to Toolbars on the View menu. If you don't see the button you want, click the arrows at the right end of the toolbar.), do one of the following:
    • To change the text color, click the arrow next to Font Color Button image, and then click a color on the palette.
      To apply the most recently selected text color, click Font Color Button image.
    • To change the background color, click the arrow next to Fill Color Button image, and then click a color on the palette.
      To apply the most recently selected background color, click Fill Color Button image.
  2. Tip    If the Formatting toolbar is not displayed, point to Toolbars on the View menu, and then click Formatting.
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2003