Setting Text Attributes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 10, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


The term text attributes refers to how a particular font is presented. For instance, you might use the bold attribute to emphasize your text, or italics might be used to indicate a term being defined (as in the first sentence of this paragraph). Excel refers to these text attributes as font styles. The most common text attributes can be easily applied with a few of the tools available on the Formatting toolbar. There are three text attribute tools provided Bold, Italic, and Underline.

There are other types of text attributes available in Excel, but these cannot be applied from the Formatting toolbar. (At least, not without customizing the toolbar.) Instead you must use the full cell formatting features of Excel. This is done by using the menus, following these steps:

  1. Select the cell (or information within a cell) whose attributes you want to change.
  2. Choose the Cells option from the Format menu. Excel displays the Cells dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Font tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Font tab of the Cells dialog box.

  5. Use the Font Style control to indicate whether the text should be regular, bold, italics, or bold italics.
  6. Use the Underline control to specify any underlining of the text.
  7. Use the check boxes in the Effects area to set any additional attributes.
  8. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2675) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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