How to Put Dollar Sign in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a dollar sign in Excel may seem complicated, but it’s actually quite simple. All you need to do is apply the currency format to your cells, and Excel will take care of the rest. Follow this quick guide and you’ll have dollar signs in your spreadsheet in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial: Adding a Dollar Sign in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re trying to achieve. Applying the currency format to your Excel cells allows you to represent numbers as monetary values, complete with the dollar sign. This is particularly useful when you’re dealing with financial data.

Step 1: Select the cells you want to format

Click and drag your mouse over the cells you wish to apply the dollar sign to.

This step is important because it tells Excel which cells you want to change. Make sure you’ve selected all the cells that require the dollar sign before moving on to the next step.

Step 2: Open the Format Cells dialog box

Right-click on the selected cells and choose ‘Format Cells’ from the context menu.

The Format Cells dialog box is where all the magic happens. This is where you can customize how your numbers look, including adding that all-important dollar sign.

Step 3: Choose the Currency format

In the Format Cells dialog box, go to the ‘Number’ tab, select ‘Currency’, and then choose the dollar sign ($) from the ‘Symbol’ dropdown menu.

By selecting the Currency format, you’re telling Excel to treat your numbers as monetary values. The Symbol dropdown lets you pick the currency symbol you need – in this case, the dollar sign.

Step 4: Adjust decimal places (optional)

If you need to, adjust the number of decimal places to represent cents accurately.

Sometimes you might be dealing with exact amounts that include cents, and you’ll want to reflect that in your spreadsheet. This step lets you control how many decimal places are displayed.

Step 5: Click ‘OK’

After you’ve made your selections, click ‘OK’ to apply the dollar sign to your selected cells.

And just like that, your numbers are now formatted as currency, complete with a dollar sign. It’s as easy as that.

After completing these steps, all selected cells will now display the dollar sign before the number, correctly formatting them as currency. This makes it easier to read and understand the financial data in your spreadsheet.

Tips for Adding a Dollar Sign in Excel

  • Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+$ to quickly apply the currency format to selected cells.
  • If you’re working with international currency, remember that you can choose different currency symbols from the ‘Symbol’ dropdown menu.
  • To apply the currency format to an entire column, click on the column header before following the steps.
  • You can use the ‘Accounting’ number format instead of ‘Currency’ for a slightly different presentation that aligns the dollar signs.
  • Remember that you can always go back and change the formatting if you make a mistake or need to adjust the appearance of your data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I apply the currency format to multiple cells at once?

Absolutely, simply select all the cells you want to format before opening the Format Cells dialog box.

What’s the difference between the Currency and Accounting formats?

The Currency format places the dollar sign directly next to the number, while the Accounting format lines up the dollar signs vertically and includes a fixed decimal point.

How do I remove the dollar sign if I change my mind?

To remove the dollar sign, simply select the cells, go back into the Format Cells dialog box, and choose a different format, like ‘General’ or ‘Number’.

Can I use a different currency symbol in Excel?

Yes, Excel allows you to choose from a vast array of currency symbols, which you can find in the ‘Symbol’ dropdown menu in the Format Cells dialog box.

Will adding a dollar sign change the value of my numbers?

No, adding a dollar sign is just a way to format the appearance of the number. The actual value remains unchanged.


  1. Select the cells you want to format.
  2. Open the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Choose the Currency format.
  4. Adjust decimal places (optional).
  5. Click ‘OK’.


Excel is a powerful tool that can help you manage and present financial data effectively. By learning how to put a dollar sign in Excel, you enhance not only the readability of your data but also the professionalism of your presentation. Remember, it’s not just about making numbers look pretty; it’s about conveying the right information in the right format. The dollar sign is universally recognized as a symbol of monetary value, and when you’re dealing with budgets, forecasts, or financial reports, it’s a small detail that can make a big difference.

If you’re just getting started with Excel or looking to sharpen your skills, consider diving deeper into formatting techniques. Explore conditional formatting, data validation, or even delve into writing formulas and using functions. Excel is a tool with endless possibilities, and mastering it can significantly boost your productivity and analytical abilities. So, don’t hesitate to experiment, practice, and, most importantly, keep learning. Happy Excel-ing!

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