When working in Excel, you may wonder how to put m² in Excel cells so that it looks like meters squared instead of just m2. It is surprisingly easy.
There are two ways. One is quick and easy, the other one is useful because Excel actually sees the ² as a separate character from 2 that is formatted to the correct look.
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m² in Excel via Formatting
Below what the text looks like normally and with the superscript 2 (the word for little character next to a big character).
To achieve this you:
- Highlight the character you want to change (click in the cell and highlight the 2 in the example below)
- Click on the Font Expander (or you can push CTRL 1 for the shortcut)
- Choose the Superscript option and click OK.
Now instead of m2 you will get m².
You can use this for a number of formatting options.
As shown below we can change the format of individual characters so that:
- the font size is different,
- change character colours for emphasis,
- make some characters bold or italic
- use a subscript for things like references or notes in Excel
- strikethrough characters.
Use the m² symbol
The other option is to insert the ² symbol. The benefit of using this method is that Excel sees this ² as a different character from a 2 that is formatted. This means that you can look for it, or use Flash Fill to change all m2’s in Excel to m².
So below, after the m,
- Click in the INSERT ribbon,
- Click on Symbol
- Choose the ² and click the Insert button.
Although they look the same, the difference is that Excel now recognises the character and so something like Flash Fill can do a conversion.
So below, if I type what I want to see in cell B5, and click on DATA and then FLASH FILL it will convert all the m2’s to m² (this won’t work if you just format it)
Like this quick, to the point tip? Have a look at our free 'Excel in 2 minutes per week' series available on our social media platforms.