Excel App and SharePoint Web-Based Excel: Formatting Disappears


New Member
Jun 23, 2020
Office Version
Windows, Web

My company recently switched from Google Docs to SharePoint. Everyone on the team is working from home (of course) and accesses the same Excel spreadsheets. One thing we need to be able to do is selectively format text in a cell as bold, italic, a different color, and so on. Example: A cell contains "Delete the word different," where only the word "different" is in italics and bold.

We were able to do this when we opened the spreadsheets in Google Docs. But now, when we open a spreadsheet in a browser via SharePoint, we cannot change only certain text within a cell. (We can only change the formatting for all text in a cell, but not selected words.)

In trying to get around this problem, I found out that you can open a spreadsheet in the Excel app instead of in a browser via SharePoint. In the app, you get full functionality, including formatting only some text in a cell.

Problem solved, right? Nope.

Because if you then open that same spreadsheet in a browser via SharePoint and double-click to enter the cell, the formatting disappears. This is unacceptable, because most people open the spreadsheets in a browser via SharePoint (long story, but having everyone use only the app is just not an option). Basically, we need a way to selectively change only some text in a cell.

Anyone know what causes this glitch and/or how to get around it?


Some videos you may like

Excel Facts

Using Function Arguments with nested formulas
If writing INDEX in Func. Arguments, type MATCH(. Use the mouse to click inside MATCH in the formula bar. Dialog switches to MATCH.


MrExcel MVP, Moderator
Jun 12, 2014
Office Version
Unfortunately Excel Online has limited capabilities compared to the desktop app, this is just one of them & there is probably no-way round it.

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