Use the Hidden Underline Formats in Excel

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You can create visually rich spreadsheets with conditional formatting in Excel, but some formatting options are hidden under the surface. For instance, did you know that there are different ways to underline cell contents in Excel?

The different underline types are part of cell formatting options found in the Font group on the Ribbon. You can apply the formatting to selected cells or entire rows and columns.

How to Use the Hidden Underline Formats in Excel

First, select the cell(s) to which you want to apply underline formatting.

To display the choices, go to: Home > Font Group (Click the downward arrow) > Format Cells > Underline. Clicking on the dropdown reveals all the choices you have. You can select any of five different underline types.

Format Cells in Excel

  • None: Removes any underlining from the cell contents.
  • Single: Adds a single underline which spans the width of the cell contents.
  • Double: Adds a double-line underline which spans the width of the cell contents.
  • Single Accounting: Adds an underline that is noticeably lower than the Single Underline. Also, the width of the underline spans the entire cell width if the cell contains text or dates.
  • Double Accounting: Adds two lines that are noticeably lower than the Double Underline. Also, the width of the underline extends across the entire cell width if the cell contains text or dates.

Single Accounting and Double Accounting underlines are accounting practices. Single Underlining is used to highlight subtotals and Double Underlining is used to markup the final total in any financial statement.

Underlines in Excel Explained

As you can see from the screenshot above, the only difference between the styles is vertical distance between the number and underlines. The accounting underlines favor a larger vertical gap.

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