Edit and format data in Google spreadsheets

Edit content in a cell

It’s easy to enter content in an empty cell. Simply click the cell and start typing. To edit a cell that already has content, just double-click the cell you want to edit.

Line breaks in a cell

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

Format data in a range of cells

You can format data in your spreadsheets in a variety of ways using the options in the spreadsheet toolbar. You can hover over an icon on the toolbar to see a description of what that option can do. You can also find a number of these actions in the menus or use shortcuts to apply formatting.

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
  • Formatting cell contents
  • Changing font size
  • Adding bold or strikethrough
  • Changing color of the text or a background color
  • Adding borders and adjusting border colors, patterns, and thickness
  • Aligning text
  • Merging cells horizontally in selected rows
  • Wrapping text
To save time on many of these formatting 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. This shortcut works with some other actions as well, including inserting a row or column in a spreadsheet.

Formatting non-adjacent cells

If you are working in the new version of Google Sheets, these formatting options can be applied to any selection of cells, with the exception of merging cells. To select multiple cells that aren’t next to one another, 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 non-adjacent cells: