Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Accurate Font Sizes.

Accurate Font Sizes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 24, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


You already know that Excel allows you to easily change the size of your fonts using various tools and dialog boxes. You may not know, however, that Excel can use virtually any point size you want, not just those listed on the Home tab of the ribbon.

Font sizes are specified in points, which are a typographer's measurement roughly equivalent to 1/72 of an inch. You can either select a size from the ribbon, or you can enter your own size. Select the size shown on the ribbon and then type the size you actually want. When you press Enter, the size of the text in the cell (or your selected text within a cell) is changed.

It is also easy to overlook the fact that Excel can display and print fonts in increments of half a point. Depending on the typeface being used, this can make a big difference. For example, there is a very marked difference between 10 and 11 point Verdana, and 10.5 may be just what you need.

You obtain the half-sizes by typing them directly into the size box. If you try to type in any other fractional size (like 10.25 or 10.4), Excel rounds your entry to the nearest half-point. (Remember—you can only set full-point sizes or half-point sizes.)

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12001) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Accurate Font Sizes.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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