5 Ways to Add and Remove Underline Text in Google Sheets

This post is going to show you all the ways you can add or remove underlined text in Google Sheets.

Google Sheets is an amazing data analysis tool, but it is also used for many other tasks as well.

It has all the usual text formatting features, so you can even use it as a text editor.

The underline format is a great option to help highlight your text by adding a line directly underneath. It can be added to your Google Sheets text data in a couple of different ways.

In this post, I’ll show you all the ways you can add and remove underlining to your text.

Let’s take a look!

Add Underline Format to the Entire Text in a Cell

You can add underline formatting to a single cell at a time or an entire range of cells in a couple of clicks.

To add the underline formatting follow these three steps.

  1. Select the cell or range of cells to which you would like to add underline formatting.
  2. Go to the Format tab in the workbook menu.
  3. Select Underline from the menu options.

Now all the text in all the selected cells will appear in an underlined format.

Keyboard Shortcut to Underline Text

If you prefer to use your keyboard there is a handy keyboard shortcut you can use.

Select the cell or range of cells to underline, then press Ctrl + U on your keyboard.

This keyboard shortcut is a much quicker way than using the workbook menu and it’s easy to remember. U stands for Underline.

Add Underline Format with the iOS or Android Mobile App

Are you are using your Google Sheet on a mobile device? Don’t worry, you can still underline your text!

You’ll notice in the mobile Sheets app that bold, strikethrough, and font color icons appear on the bottom command bar, but the underline icon is missing. You can access more text format options from the top command bar.

Follow these steps to add the underline format to your text using the Sheets mobile app.

  1. Select the cells which you want to add underlining.
  2. Press the A with lines icon. This will open up more format options.
  3. Select the Text tab and then click on the underlined U icon.

Now all the text in the cells you had selected will have a line underneath!

Add Underline to Part of the Text in a Cell

I just showed you how to underline all the text in a cell, but it is also possible to underline only part of the text inside a cell.

This is great if you want to emphasize one or two words in a larger bit of text.

To add the underline format to part of the text inside a cell follow these four steps.

  1. Select the cell which contains the text you want to underline.
  2. The text will be visible in the formula bar. Highlight the part of the text to which you want apply the underline format.
  3. Press Ctrl + U on your keyboard.
  4. Press Enter to accept the change and exit editing mode on the cell.

Now only the part of the text you selected will have the underline formatting.

Remove Underline Format Text

Clearing all formatting from your text will remove any underline format, but you may only want to remove the underline and keep all the other formats.

Removing any underlined format is just as easy as adding it. In fact, it’s the same steps. The underline commands act as a toggle and will remove the format if it is already applied and add the format if it is not already applied.

To remove any underline format follow these steps.

  1. Select the cell or range of cells which you want to remove formatting from.
  2. Go to the Format tab in the menu.
  3. Click on Underline from the menu options.

You can also use the keyboard shortcut to remove the underline format instead.

  1. Select the cells you want to remove underlines from.
  2. Press Ctrl + U on the keyboard.

📝 Note: If the selected cells contain a partial underline formatting, then you will need to repeat this a second time. This is because the first time, Sheets will apply underline format to all the parts which don’t have it. Then the second time will remove all underline format.

Add a Bottom Border to a Cell

Another option that can give a similar effect as adding underline format is to add a bottom border to the cell which contains the text.

As long as your text stays on one line, this bottom border will look very similar to the underline format.

This effect is even better when you remove the gridlines from the worksheet so the bottom border is more prominent.

Select the cell you want to add a bottom border to ➜ click on the grid icon in the command bar ➜ select the Bottom border option.

You can see the resulting line will extend the entire width of the cell and not just the width of the text inside the cell. In comparison, the cells with the underlined format will only show a line the same width as the text.

This will also be noticeable when a cell is formatted with wrapped text. Only the bottom wrapped text will appear to be underlined with the border.

Nonetheless, this might be the exact style you are looking for.


There are multiple ways to add and remove the underline format to your text in Google Sheets.

You can even add underlining from your mobile device with the Sheets app.

You can even get the same look with cell borders.

Did you know all these? Do you know a method that’s not in the post? Let me know about it in the comments below!

About the Author

John MacDougall

John MacDougall

John is a Microsoft MVP and freelance consultant and trainer specializing in Excel, Power BI, Power Automate, Power Apps, and SharePoint. You can find other interesting articles from John on his blog or YouTube channel.

Related Articles



Get the Latest Google Sheets Tips

Write For Us

Are you a tech enthusiast with a talent for writing great content? Come write for us!

Follow Us

Follow us on social media to stay up to date with the latest in Google Sheets!