How to Highlight a Word in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Highlighting words in Excel is a breeze once you get the hang of it! It’s as simple as selecting the cell, clicking on the Home tab, and choosing your highlight color. This quick overview will give you the gist, but keep reading for the nitty-gritty details.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Highlight a Word in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about why you might want to highlight words in Excel. Maybe you’re trying to draw attention to specific data, or you need to mark items for review. Whatever the reason, following these steps will help you achieve your goal.

Step 1: Open your Excel document

Open the Excel document where you want to highlight words.

Once you have your document open, you’ll be ready to start highlighting. Make sure you’re on the right sheet if your workbook has multiple sheets.

Step 2: Select the cell containing the word

Click on the cell that has the word you want to highlight.

When you select the cell, make sure you’re clicking on the actual cell and not just the word. This will ensure the entire cell gets highlighted.

Step 3: Click on the ‘Home’ tab

Navigate to the ‘Home’ tab on the Excel ribbon.

The Home tab is where most of the formatting options are located, including the option to highlight cells.

Step 4: Click on the ‘Fill Color’ button

In the Font group on the Home tab, click the ‘Fill Color’ button.

The Fill Color button looks like a paint bucket. If you hover over it, a tooltip will pop up saying "Fill Color."

Step 5: Choose your highlight color

Select the color you want to use to highlight the word.

You can choose from the colors shown or click on "More Colors" for additional options. Remember, the goal is to make the word stand out, so choose a color that contrasts well with the text.

After completing these steps, the word in your selected cell will be highlighted in the color you chose.

Tips for Highlighting Words in Excel

  • Use contrasting colors to make the highlighted words pop against the surrounding text.
  • If you need to highlight multiple words, you can select multiple cells at once by clicking and dragging your mouse across them.
  • Use the ‘Find & Select’ feature to quickly find all instances of a word you want to highlight.
  • Consider using Conditional Formatting if you want to highlight cells based on certain criteria automatically.
  • Remember that highlighting is not just for visual appeal; it can be a powerful tool for data analysis and presentation.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove the highlight from a word?

To remove the highlight, select the cell, go to the ‘Home’ tab, click on ‘Fill Color,’ and choose ‘No Fill.’

Can I highlight just part of the text within a cell?

Unfortunately, Excel doesn’t support highlighting individual words within a cell. You can only highlight the entire cell.

Will the highlight show up when I print?

Yes, the highlight will show up on printed documents, making it a useful feature for printed reports.

Can I use keyboard shortcuts to highlight words?

You can use the Alt + H, H keyboard shortcut to open the fill color menu and then use the arrow keys to select a color.

Is it possible to highlight an entire row or column?

Yes, you can highlight an entire row or column by selecting the row number or column letter and then following the same steps to apply a fill color.


  1. Open your Excel document
  2. Select the cell containing the word
  3. Click on the ‘Home’ tab
  4. Click on the ‘Fill Color’ button
  5. Choose your highlight color


Highlighting words in Excel is a simple yet effective way to draw attention to important data. Whether you’re preparing a report for work, organizing a list, or analyzing survey results, knowing how to highlight words can help you communicate more effectively. Remember, the key steps involve selecting the cell, navigating to the Home tab, and choosing your fill color. With this knowledge and a bit of practice, you’ll soon be highlighting like a pro. If you ever get stuck, just come back to this article for a quick refresher on how to highlight a word in Excel. Happy highlighting!

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