Underline cell contents, entire cells, or rows on a worksheet

There are several ways to add underlining on a worksheet (worksheet: The primary document that you use in Excel to store and work with data. Also called a spreadsheet. A worksheet consists of cells that are organized into columns and rows; a worksheet is always stored in a workbook.). You can underline all or selected text in cells, apply a bottom border to cells or rows, or draw a line to underline cells.

What do you want to do?


Underline all or selected cell contents

  1. Do one of the following:

ShowHow to select a cell or range

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 of 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

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.
  • To underline just a portion of the contents in a cell, double-click that cell, and then select the text or numbers that you want to underline.

 Note   If editing in a cell is turned on, you can select the cell contents by double-clicking the cell. If editing in a cell is turned off, you can click the cell and then select the text or numbers that you want to underline in the formula bar (formula bar: A bar at the top of the Excel window that you use to enter or edit values or formulas in cells or charts. Displays the constant value or formula stored in the active cell.). You can also press F2 to edit the active cell, use the arrow keys to place the insertion point, and then use SHIFT+ARROW KEYS to select the contents.

  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.), click Underline Button image.

Tips

  • You can apply a different style of underline, such as a double underline or a single or double accounting underline (an underline that fills the width of a cell). On the Format menu, click Cells. On the Font tab, select the style that you want in the Underline box.
  • If you frequently apply double underlining, you can add the Double Underline Button image button to a toolbar. On the Tools menu, click Customize, and then, on the Commands tab, click Format in the Categories box. In the Commands box, click Double Underline, and then drag it to a toolbar. For example, you could place the new button right next to the Underline button on the Formatting toolbar.

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Use a bottom border to underline entire cells or rows

  1. Select the cell, range (range: Two or more cells on a sheet. The cells in a range can be adjacent or nonadjacent.) of cells, or rows that you want to underline.

ShowHow to select a cell or range

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 of 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 and column headings

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.
  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.), click the arrow next to Borders Button image, and then click a bottom border style on the palette.

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Draw a line to underline cells

  1. On the Drawing 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.), click Line Button image.

Tip    If the Drawing toolbar is not visible, click Drawing Button image on the Standard toolbar.

  1. Drag to draw a line underneath the cells that you want to underline.

Tip    To draw a perfectly straight line, hold down SHIFT while you drag to draw the line.

  1. To change the formatting of the line, double-click the line, and then do any of the following:
    • On the Colors and Lines tab, select the color and line style options that you want.
    • On the Size tab, select the size and scaling options that you want.
    • On the Properties tab, select an object positioning option and specify whether or not the line should be printed.

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Applies to:
Excel 2003