How to Put Quotations in a Cell in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Putting quotations in a cell in Excel is as simple as adding an apostrophe (‘) before the quotation mark. This signals to Excel that the following text is to be treated as a string, including the quotation marks. Once this step is completed, you can enter the rest of your text within the quotations, and Excel will display it exactly as typed.

Once you’ve inserted a quotation into a cell, Excel will treat that cell’s content as text. This means that any numerical values within the quotation marks won’t be used in calculations, and the cell will align the text to the left by default.


Excel is a powerful tool that millions of people use every day. Whether you’re a business analyst crunching numbers, a student organizing data for a project, or just someone trying to keep track of expenses, Excel has become an indispensable part of our lives. But despite its widespread usage, there are still some functions and tricks that can stump even the most seasoned users. One such function is inserting quotations into a cell.

Why is this important? Well, imagine you’re compiling a list of your favorite quotes, or you’re an author keeping track of dialogue in your novel. Maybe you’re a researcher documenting interviews. In all these scenarios, you’ll need to know how to correctly insert quotations into Excel without disrupting the formatting or the integrity of the data. This skill is particularly relevant to content writers, editors, and anyone who deals with textual data.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Put Quotations in a Cell in Excel

This tutorial will guide you through the process of inserting quotations into an Excel cell, ensuring that your data remains clear and unaltered.

Step 1: Select the Cell

Click on the cell where you want to insert the quotation.

Step 2: Enter the Apostrophe

Type an apostrophe (‘) into the cell before entering anything else.

The apostrophe tells Excel that whatever you type next will be treated as text. This is crucial when entering quotations because it prevents Excel from misinterpreting the quotation marks.

Step 3: Type the Quotation Marks

After the apostrophe, enter the first quotation mark, followed by the text you wish to quote, and then close with the second quotation mark.

Remember, the apostrophe will not be visible in the cell or in the formula bar once you press enter, leaving only your quotation displayed exactly as you typed it.

Step 4: Press Enter

Once you’ve typed your complete quotation, press enter to save it to the cell.

After pressing enter, the cell will display your text with the quotation marks. You can now format or edit the text as needed without worrying about the quotation marks disappearing.


Preserves FormattingBy using an apostrophe, Excel retains the quotation marks, ensuring that your text appears exactly as intended.
Textual IntegrityThis method ensures that any numerical values within the quotes are treated as text, preserving the original meaning.
Easy to UseOnce you know this simple trick, adding quotes into Excel is quick and effortless, streamlining your workflow.


Limited FunctionalityQuoted text in Excel cannot be used for numerical calculations, which may limit its use in some data analysis tasks.
Learning CurveFor Excel beginners, understanding the importance of an apostrophe before a quotation may take some time and practice.
Invisible ApostropheThe invisible apostrophe may cause confusion for those unfamiliar with the process, leading to potential errors.

Additional Information

When working with quotations in Excel, it’s important to remember that anything within quotation marks is treated as a string of text. This means that if you need to use the data within the quotes for calculations, you’ll have to extract the numeric values separately. Additionally, you can use the CONCATENATE function or the ‘&’ operator to combine text from different cells, including those with quotations.

If you’re dealing with a large dataset where you need to insert quotations repeatedly, consider creating a macro to automate the process. Excel macros can save you a significant amount of time and reduce the risk of manual errors.

Moreover, if you’re working with data imported from other sources, such as a word processor or a web page, you may find that Excel has automatically removed the quotations during the import process. In such cases, you’ll need to add them back manually using the method described in the tutorial.

Lastly, remember that Excel has a character limit for cells. If your quotation is particularly long, it may be truncated. In such instances, consider storing the text in a text editor and only including the essential part in Excel, with a reference to the full quote elsewhere.


  1. Select the cell
  2. Enter the apostrophe
  3. Type the quotation marks
  4. Press enter

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to add an apostrophe before the quotation mark in Excel?

The apostrophe tells Excel to treat the following text as a string, including the quotation marks, ensuring that they are displayed correctly.

Can I use numerical values within quotations in Excel for calculations?

No, Excel treats anything within quotations as text, so numerical values won’t be calculated.

What happens if my quotation is too long for an Excel cell?

Excel has a character limit for cells, so very long quotations may be cut off. Consider storing the full text elsewhere and referencing it in Excel.

Can I automate the process of adding quotations in Excel?

Yes, you can create a macro to automate the insertion of quotations, saving you time and effort.

Will the apostrophe be visible in the cell after I press enter?

No, the apostrophe is only a marker for Excel and won’t be visible in the cell or the formula bar.


Excel, with all its analytical prowess, occasionally requires a touch of literary finesse. Knowing how to put quotations in a cell in Excel is one of those subtle skills that elevate your data management game. It’s a straightforward process, yet it can add clarity and precision to your textual data. Whether you’re compiling a list of inspiring quotes, documenting important conversations, or just trying to capture dialogue accurately, this knowledge will serve you well.

But, as with any tool, it’s all about knowing the tricks of the trade. Excel is much more than a number-crunching juggernaut; it’s a versatile platform that can handle text just as deftly as it handles figures. So, take this new trick, make it a part of your Excel toolkit, and watch your spreadsheets come alive with the power of the written word. And remember, every apostrophe counts in ensuring your quotations stand out, exactly as you intended.

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