How to Insert Dollar Sign in MS Excel

Despite what the title says, inserting a dollar sign in MS Excel is not as simple as typing it in before numbers. Doing that does not change the format!

Displaying currency symbols with monetary amounts helps to improve the credibility of information. This tutorial highlights different methods to change numbers to currency, with a dollar sign, in Microsoft Excel.

3 Methods to insert the dollar sign in Microsoft Excel:

  • Change the format of the numbers
  • Use the Format Cells dialog box
  • Use the DOLLAR function

Let us begin by looking at these methods in detail.


Method #1: Change the Format of the Numbers

This is the easiest method to insert the dollar sign in MS Excel. Select the cell(s) with the numbers and change its format to currency.

Step #1: Open an Excel workbook

Open a new Excel file. If you already have an existing workbook in which you want to perform this exercise, open that. Make sure the workbook has generally formatted numbers to perform this exercise.

Step #2: Select the cell(s)

Select the cell with numbers by clicking on it. 

To select multiple cells, click and drag the cursor over the cells.

Step #3: Change the format

Navigate to the Home tab to view the home tab ribbon.

Click the arrow to the right of the drop-down in the Number group. 

Select Currency from the drop-down menu by clicking on it. 

Instead of Currency, you can also select Accounting.

The cell you selected gets formatted as currency with the dollar symbol.

Note: The currency symbol that is displayed will be the default one, depending on your region. In the Control Panel, under Region settings, you can change the default currency settings to be US Dollar.


Method #2: Use the Format Cells Dialog Box

This method allows conversion into different currencies, irrespective of the default settings.

Step #1: Open an Excel workbook

Open a new Excel file. If you already have an existing workbook in which you want to perform this exercise, open that. Make sure the workbook has generally formatted numbers to perform this exercise.

Step #2: Open the Format Cells dialog box

Select the cell where you wish to add a dollar sign, by clicking on it.

Open the Format Cells dialog box. You can do this by either:

  • Clicking right and from the menu that opens, select Format cells…
  • Click on Format in the Menu Bar and then Cells…
  • Use the keyboard shortcut command and 1 for Mac users.
  • Use the keyboard shortcut Alt H F M pressed successively.
  • Click on the dialog box launcher from the Number group under the Home tab. This is the little icon next to the word Number, on the Home ribbon.

Step #3: Select the Currency category 

Once the Format Cells dialogue box opens, navigate to the Number tab. 

From Category: select Currency

From the Symbol drop-down, select the $ sign.

Step #4: Press Enter

After selecting the $ symbol, click the OK button or press Enter on your keyboard.


Method #3: Using the DOLLAR Function

This is a special formula for the conversion of numbers into currency (dollars only). You can use this method if you don’t want to or can’t make changes to the original data. Or if you have a series of calculations that you apply to process your data. 

Step #1: Open an Excel workbook

Open a new Excel file. If you already have an existing workbook in which you want to perform this exercise, open that. Make sure the workbook has generally formatted numbers to perform this exercise.

Step #2: Apply the DOLLAR function

Select a cell next to the cell with the number in it, by clicking on it.

In the cell, type the following formula:

=DOLLAR(number, [decimals])

The meaning of the arguments is given below:

  • number: The name of the cell containing the number.
  • Decimals: The number of digits to the right of the decimal point. By default, 2.

In our example:

=DOLLAR(A1)

Step #3: Press Enter

After entering the required values in the formula, press Enter to execute it.


Conclusion

It can be argued that one can simply type the $ symbol into the cell. And if you are merely going to print it, that approach is fine. But if you want to apply more calculations, then you have to change the format of the cell.

Consider using any of the above three methods to insert Dollar signs in MS Excel – the right way.

Leave a Comment