How to Underline in Google Sheets?

Having data present in your Google Sheets is only half the battle. The other half is being able to present it in an understandable manner.

Using Bold, Italic, and Underline technique to highlight certain words or passages in your Google Sheets is one way to do it.

Underlining words can help in making emphasize on a part of a sentence or part of a whole paragraph. The same can be said when you’re bolding words or keeping them in italics.  

To Underline or Not to Underline? That is the Question.

Underlining your text is one of many simple formatting techniques you can use to make your data easier to understand when push comes to shove.

You also have other options for formatting available in your arsenal. You can make the text bold or italicized. You can color the text or cell or both. 

You can even change the font size or style. All of these things are possible with Google Sheets.

It’s possible to underline the whole cell of text. You can also underline part of the text inside the cell. You can underline a word, a sentence, a paragraph, or multiple paragraphs.

This tutorial will show you the shortcuts and methods of underlining words in Google Sheets.

How to Underline in Google Sheets

There are actually two ways to go about underlining a cell. Let’s explore the both of them. Open or make a new spreadsheet.

Add some words, sentences, or paragraphs on it that you could underline.

How to Underline Step 1 - Open spreadsheet

We’ve already selected the cell we wish to underline. You can underline it two ways.

Method 1: Use the Format Menu

Step 1: After selecting the cell you wish to underline, go to the “Format” menu. Select the “Text” submenu, and then click on “Underline“. The keyboard shortcut is listed on the menu. Take note of it now because we’re going to use it later.

How to Underline Method 1 Step 1 - Select cell and go to Format, Text, and Underline v1

Step 2: You should now have the whole cell’s text content underlined. The underline should also work on any number figures or the results of formulas (such as with the SUM and AVERAGE functions).

How to Underline Method 1 Step 2 - The results of menu underlining

Method 2: Use the Keyboard Shortcut

Remember that shortcut for “Underline” on the “Format” then “Text” menus? It’s “Ctrl + U” or you pressing the Ctrl key and the Letter U key at the same time.

Step 1: Use that this time on the selected cell. This undoes the underline formatting.

How to Underline Method 2 Step 1 - Use Ctrl-U shortcut to undo Underline

You can also keep doing that to bring it back to underlined formatting over and over again. The thing about the Ctrl + U shortcut is that it’s easier to do than having to go through the entire Format menu to select “Underline”.

Step 2: You can also select multiple cells or text boxes and underline them at the same time by pressing the shortcut as well.

How to Underline Method 2 Step 2A - Select multiple cells or text

The results should be as so.

How to Underline Method 2 Step 2B - Results of underlining by shortcut

Step 3: Because you’ve also selected the empty spaces or cells, they should also produce underlined text when you type something in them.

How to Underline Method 2 Step 3 - This empty cell space is also underline formatted

Method 3: Underlining a Specific Word or Phrase

Step 1: To underline a specific word or phrase and not just the whole cell’s text content, you need to double-click a specific cell. This makes the text on the cell as selectable as the words typed on Google Docs or Microsoft Word.

How to Underline Method 3 Step 1 -Double-click the cell

Step 2: After the double-click, select the word or phrase you wish to highlight by underline. In our case, it’s the word “girl“.

How to Underline Method 3 Step 2 - Select a specific word or phrase to underline

Step 3: It’s best to underline that one word with “Ctrl + U“.

How to Underline Method 3 Step 3 - Use Ctrl-U to underline individual words

Normally, you’d think you can either press the “Ctrl + U” shortcut or go at it the long way by clicking the “Format” menu, selecting “Text“, and selecting “Underline“.

The problem here is that the selected word gets unselected whenever you use the “Format” method, so the shortcut method works better.

Step 4: You can use that same method to highlight and underline specific words on larger sentences and paragraphs.

How to Underline Method 3 Step 4 - Double-click, select, and Ctrl-U longer paragraphs

File example: Download Here

What Else Do You Need?

You can press Ctrl + U (like in Microsoft Word and Google Docs) to underline a word, a sentence, a paragraph, or multiple of those at once while inside the cell. You can also go to the “Format” menu in order to gain access of the feature in menu form.

To underline specific words on the text, double-click the cell first then select the words before using the “Ctrl + U” shortcut to underline them.

It’s our hope you’ve found this tutorial useful. Feel free to give feedback on it.


  1. How to Underline in Google Sheets (Shortcut)“,, May 8, 2020
  2. Simmeon, “How To Underline In Google Sheets“, YouTube, January 31, 2019
  3. Smarthelping (Jason Varner), “How to Underline Text in Google Sheets and Shortcut“, YouTube, August 9, 2021

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Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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