Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Changing Font Sizes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 1, 2018)
Excel specifies the size of fonts in points, a unit of measurement typically used in typesetting. A point is equal to approximately 1/72 of an inch. To change the size of a font used in a selected cell or for information selected within a cell, you use the Home tab of the ribbon. In the Font group you'll notice the Font Size tool. If you click on the arrow to the right of this tool you are presented with a drop-down list of point sizes you can specify for the current font.
To pick a point size, simply scroll through the list and choose the one you want. Click your mouse on the point size, and your text is updated. You are not limited to choosing a point size from those in the list, however. Excel allows you to specify any font size between 1 and 409 points. (This depends, of course, on the capabilities of your printer.) You can use the keyboard to enter, in the Font Size tool, any point size (or fractional point size to the nearest half point) desired. For instance, if you type 21.4, Excel increases the point size to 21.5. It is kind of fun to play around with various fractional point sizes to see how Excel modifies them.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8071) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Changing Font Sizes.
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Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.