How to Add Dollar Signs in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

If you’re working with financial data in Excel, you’ll want to know how to add dollar signs to your numbers. This helps make your spreadsheets clear and professional. Thankfully, Excel makes it pretty straightforward to format cells with dollar signs. Here’s a quick guide to get you started.

How to Add Dollar Signs in Excel

In this section, you’ll learn how to add dollar signs to your numbers in Excel. This formatting makes your financial data easier to read and understand. We’ll go through the steps to show you how to format cells so that they display numbers as currency.

Step 1: Select the Cells

First, highlight the cells you want to format with dollar signs.

You can click and drag your mouse over the cells, or use the Shift and arrow keys to select a group of cells. If you want to select the entire column or row, simply click on the column or row header.

Step 2: Open the Format Cells Dialog Box

Right-click on the selected cells, and choose “Format Cells” from the context menu.

This action opens a new window where you can customize how your numbers appear. You can also access this by clicking on the small arrow in the bottom-right corner of the “Number” group on the Home tab.

Step 3: Select ‘Currency’ from the Category List

In the Format Cells dialog box, click on the “Number” tab, then choose “Currency” from the list on the left.

Here, you’ll see different options for formatting numbers, but for adding dollar signs, you want "Currency." This option automatically adds a dollar sign to your numbers.

Step 4: Choose Decimal Places and Symbol

Set the number of decimal places and make sure the dollar sign is selected as the symbol.

You can usually leave this at the default of two decimal places, but you can adjust it depending on your needs. Make sure the dollar sign is selected in the Symbol dropdown menu.

Step 5: Click OK

Click the “OK” button to apply the formatting to your selected cells.

After clicking “OK,” your numbers will now appear with dollar signs in front of them. It’s that simple!

After completing these steps, your selected cells will now display numbers with dollar signs, making it clear that the values are in U.S. dollars.

Tips for Adding Dollar Signs in Excel

  • Use Keyboard Shortcuts: You can quickly add dollar signs by selecting your cells and pressing Ctrl+Shift+$.
  • Conditional Formatting: For more advanced users, conditional formatting can automatically add dollar signs based on certain conditions.
  • Custom Number Formats: You can create a custom number format if you need more specific formatting.
  • Apply to Entire Sheet: You can format an entire sheet by clicking the box at the intersection of the row and column headers.
  • Check for Consistency: Make sure all your financial data is formatted the same way to avoid confusion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to format multiple sheets?

You can select multiple sheets by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking each sheet tab before formatting.

Can I apply dollar signs to a whole column?

Yes, click the column header to select the entire column, then follow the steps to format cells.

How do I remove dollar signs?

To remove dollar signs, select the cells and choose “General” from the Format Cells dialog box.

What if I want a different currency symbol?

In the Format Cells dialog box, you can choose other currency symbols from the Symbol dropdown menu.

Does Excel automatically update the format if I change the value?

Yes, any new value you enter in a formatted cell will automatically display with a dollar sign.


  1. Select the cells.
  2. Open the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Select ‘Currency’ from the category list.
  4. Choose decimal places and symbol.
  5. Click OK.


Adding dollar signs in Excel is a simple but powerful way to make your financial data more comprehensible and professional-looking. Whether you’re working on a budget, financial report, or any other money-related spreadsheet, those dollar signs can make a world of difference. Just follow a few easy steps, and you’ll have your numbers formatted in no time.

If you found this guide helpful, consider diving deeper into other Excel formatting features. Excel is a robust tool with many functions that can help streamline your work and make you more efficient. So, go ahead, practice adding those dollar signs, and watch your spreadsheets transform!

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