[Excel Shortcut] Bold Text in a Cell (Windows & Mac)

Written by Kasper Langmann

Microsoft Excel, a powerful spreadsheet program, is a vital tool for businesses and individuals alike. It offers a wide range of features to organize, analyze, and manipulate data effectively. One such feature is the ability to format text within cells, including making text bold. This article delves into the Excel shortcut for bolding text in a cell, applicable for both Windows and Mac users.

Understanding Excel’s Text Formatting

Before we dive into the specific shortcut for bolding text, it’s important to understand Excel’s text formatting capabilities. Excel provides a host of options to format your text, including font style, size, color, and effects such as bold, italic, and underline.

Formatting your text can greatly enhance the readability and appearance of your spreadsheet. For instance, bold text can be used to highlight important data or headings, making them stand out from the rest of the content.

While you can manually select these options from the toolbar, using keyboard shortcuts can significantly speed up your workflow. These shortcuts are not only faster but also reduce the need for excessive mouse movements, thereby increasing your productivity.

The Excel Shortcut for Bolding Text

The keyboard shortcut to make text bold in Excel is simple and easy to remember. For Windows users, the shortcut is Ctrl + B. For Mac users, the shortcut is Command + B.

To use this shortcut, first select the cell or cells that contain the text you want to make bold. Then, press the appropriate shortcut keys. The text within the selected cells will immediately become bold.

It’s important to note that this shortcut toggles the bold effect on and off. So, if you select a cell with bold text and press the shortcut keys, the text will revert to normal.

Additional Tips for Using the Bold Shortcut

While the basic usage of the bold shortcut is straightforward, there are a few additional tips that can enhance your efficiency. For instance, you can use the Shift key in combination with the arrow keys to select multiple cells. Once the cells are selected, you can apply the bold effect to all of them at once.

Another tip is to use the Ctrl key (or Command key for Mac) to select non-adjacent cells. After selecting the cells, press the bold shortcut to apply the effect to all selected cells.

Other Useful Excel Formatting Shortcuts

Besides the bold shortcut, Excel offers a variety of other formatting shortcuts that can help streamline your work. Some of these include:

  • Ctrl + I (Command + I for Mac) to italicize text
  • Ctrl + U (Command + U for Mac) to underline text
  • Ctrl + 5 to apply strikethrough
  • Ctrl + Shift + F to open the Format Cells dialog box

Like the bold shortcut, these shortcuts also toggle the corresponding effects on and off. Therefore, if you want to remove a particular effect, simply select the cell and press the appropriate shortcut keys.


Keyboard shortcuts are an integral part of mastering Excel. They not only save time but also make your work more efficient. The bold shortcut, in particular, is a handy tool for highlighting important information in your spreadsheet.

Remember, the key to becoming proficient with these shortcuts is practice. So, the next time you work on an Excel spreadsheet, try using these shortcuts instead of reaching for your mouse. You’ll be surprised at how much faster and smoother your workflow becomes.