How to Underline in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

how to underline in excel

Underlining in Excel is a straightforward task that can make your data stand out or provide clarity. To underline text or numbers in Excel, you simply need to highlight the cells you want to format, navigate to the formatting options, and choose the underline style that suits your needs. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you through the process, ensuring your spreadsheets look polished and professional.

How to Underline in Excel

This section will take you through the steps to underline text or numbers in Excel. By following these instructions, you can enhance the readability and presentation of your data.

Step 1: Open Your Excel Workbook

First, open your Excel workbook where you want to underline text or numbers.

Make sure you have the right file open to avoid making changes in the wrong document. If you don’t have Excel installed, you can use the web version.

Step 2: Select the Cell(s) to Underline

Click on the cell or drag your mouse to select multiple cells where you wish to add an underline.

Highlighting the cells ensures that only the data you want underlined is affected. You can select individual cells, rows, or columns.

Step 3: Go to the Home Tab

Navigate to the ‘Home’ tab located at the top of the Excel window.

The ‘Home’ tab contains all the basic formatting tools, including underline options. It’s the go-to place for most of your Excel formatting needs.

Step 4: Click on the Underline Button

Click on the underline button (U) in the Font group, or press Ctrl + U on your keyboard.

This action will instantly underline the selected text or numbers. If you need a double underline, click the small arrow next to the underline button and choose ‘Double Underline.’

Step 5: Review Your Formatting

Take a moment to review the underlined cells to ensure everything looks as expected.

Double-checking your work helps catch any mistakes early on. You can always undo the underline by pressing Ctrl + Z or clicking the underline button again.

After completing these steps, your selected cells will have an underline, making them stand out and enhancing the visual appeal of your data.

Tips for Underlining in Excel

  • Use single underlines for simple emphasis and double underlines for totals or important figures.
  • Combine underlining with bold or italics for even greater emphasis.
  • Avoid underlining entire columns or rows unless necessary, as it can make your spreadsheet look cluttered.
  • Utilize conditional formatting to automatically underline cells that meet certain criteria.
  • Customize your underline color by accessing the ‘Format Cells’ dialog box for a more personalized touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I underline a part of the text in a single cell?

Yes, you can. Double-click the cell to enter edit mode, highlight the specific text, and then apply the underline format.

How do I remove an underline from a cell?

Select the underlined cell(s) and click the underline button again, or press Ctrl + U to remove the underline.

Can I underline numbers in Excel?

Absolutely, you can underline numbers just like text by following the same steps outlined above.

Is there a way to underline based on a condition?

Yes, you can use conditional formatting to underline cells that meet specific conditions, such as values greater than a certain number.

How do I underline an entire row or column?

Click on the row number or column letter to select it entirely and then apply the underline formatting.


  1. Open Your Excel Workbook
  2. Select the Cell(s) to Underline
  3. Go to the Home Tab
  4. Click on the Underline Button
  5. Review Your Formatting


Underlining in Excel is a simple yet powerful way to highlight important data. Whether you’re emphasizing key figures, separating totals, or just making your spreadsheet more readable, underlining can make your data pop.

By following the steps we’ve outlined, you can easily add and customize underlines in your Excel worksheets. Don’t forget to experiment with different underline styles and colors to suit your needs. For more advanced formatting options, consider exploring Excel’s conditional formatting features.

Remember, a well-formatted spreadsheet not only looks professional but also makes data interpretation easier. So, go ahead and start underlining your data in Excel to enhance your content and make your spreadsheets stand out!

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