Let’s take a look. As we looked at in a previous lesson, the Font group on the ribbon provides access to fonts, font sizes, font color, and basic font styles. The Font tab of the Format Cells dialog box contains all of these options and several more. You can access the Font tab of the Format Cells dialog box using the arrow at the bottom of the font group or using the keyboard shortcut Control-Shift-F. In addition to font controls on the ribbon, the Format Cells dialog box contains settings for Subscript, Superscript, and Strikethrough formatting, and several types of underlining. So, you could use Format Cells for almost all of your font formatting needs. However, for basic font formatting, there are some disadvantages in using the Format Cells dialog box because its controls are more limited than the ribbon’s. For example, the font menu is just a plain list and only displays six fonts at a time. It also doesn’t respond to typing, so you can’t select a font by typing the first few letters of its name. As a result, scrolling through a long list of fonts is tedious. In addition, the changes you make in the Format Cells dialog box are previewed only in a small preview window, not in the worksheet. You’ll need to click OK to see the effect of changes in the worksheet. In contrast, the ribbon provides a much larger and more useful font menu. It shows you what each font looks like and provides a live preview of font, color, and size. For basic font formatting, it’s a better choice.

Dave Bruns

Hi - I’m Dave Bruns, and I run Exceljet with my wife, Lisa. Our goal is to help you work faster in Excel. We create short videos, and clear examples of formulas, functions, pivot tables, conditional formatting, and charts.