Edit and format data in Google spreadsheets

You can add or edit the text in the cells of a spreadsheet and then add formatting to the text in a number of different ways.

Edit text in a cell

Desktop

You can either add content to an empty cell in your spreadsheet or edit a cell that already has content.

  • Add content to an empty cell: Click the cell and start typing.
  • Edit a cell that already has content: Double-click the cell you want to edit.

Add a line break in a cell

To create a line break within a cell while editing, place your cursor in a cell and press Ctrl+Enter (Cmd+Enter on a Mac). You can use this feature to improve the look of text that requires line breaks, such as addresses.

Android or iOS
  1. Open a spreadsheet in the Sheets app.
  2. Double-tap the cell in your spreadsheet where you'd like to make an edit.
  3. Begin making your edits.

Format data in a range of cells

You can format data in your spreadsheets in a number of ways using the options in the spreadsheet toolbar.

Desktop

Frequently used formatting options

Some of the key actions you can apply to a cell or multiple cells include:

  • Changing the number, date or currency format
  • Changing font size
  • Adding bold, italics, or strikethrough
  • Changing color of the text or background color
  • Adding borders and adjusting border colors, and patterns
  • Aligning text

Note: To save time on many of these actions, you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Y (Cmd + Y on a Mac) to repeat the last action you took in your spreadsheet. This allows you to repeat information over and over again quickly.

Formatting part of your data in a cell

You can take some action on specific parts of the content in a cell.

  1. Open a spreadsheet.
  2. Doubleclick the cell you want to format a section of and highlight the content you want to change.
  3. Take one of the following actions from the toolbar:
    • Change text size or color
    • Change font
    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline
    • Strikethrough

Once you've clicked on a formatting option, your selected text will be automatically changed.

Formatting cells that aren't next to each other

You can take all of the actions mentioned above on cells that aren't next to one another. To select multiple cells, click and hold Ctrl on your keyboard (Cmd on a Mac) as you select the cells.

Along with formatting, the following actions can also be taken with cells that aren't next to each other:

Android

You can change the size, color, and style of your data in your spreadsheets on your Android phone or tablet.

  1. In the Sheets app, open the spreadsheet.
  2. Touch a cell to select it. Move the blue markers to expand the number of cells that are selected.
  3. Touch the format icon .
  4. Change the font size, color, or style:
    • Size: Touch the arrows next to "Text size" to increase or decrease the size of your selected font.
    • Color: Touch Text color and choose a new color from the options that appear.
    • Style: Touch the current font being used and select a new font from the list
  5. The text in your selected cells will change when you choose an option. Touch back on the spreadsheet to continue editing.

Formatting part of your data in a cell

You can take some action on specific parts of the content in a cell.

  1. In the Sheets app, open a spreadsheet.
  2. Double-tap the cell you want to format a section of and highlight the content you want to change.
  3. Take one of the following actions from the toolbar or by touching the More icon :
    • Change text size or color
    • Change font
    • Bold
    • Italic
    • Underline
    • Strikethrough

Once you've clicked on a formatting option, your selected text will be automatically changed.

iOS

You can change the size, color, and style of your data in your spreadsheets on your iPhone or iPad.

  1. In the Sheets app, open the spreadsheet.
  2. Touch a cell to select it. Move the blue markers to expand the number of cells that are selected.
  3. Touch the format icon .
  4. Change the font size, color, or style:
    • Size: Touch the arrows next to "Text size" to increase or decrease the size of your selected font.
    • Color: Touch Text color and choose a new color from the options that appear.
    • Style: Touch the current font being used and select a new font from the list
  5. The text in your selected cells will change when you choose an option. Touch back on the spreadsheet to continue editing.

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

Was this article helpful?