Excel: Fill a Cell with Asterisks

This page is an advertiser-supported excerpt of the book, Power Excel 2010-2013 from MrExcel - 567 Excel Mysteries Solved. If you like this topic, please consider buying the entire e-book.


Problem: I want to fill the blanks to the left of a number with asterisks like a check-printer would do.

Strategy: When you are entering a custom format, the asterisk symbol says to use the next character to fill the blanks in the cell. I realize this is really confusing, but using **0 tells Excel to use the second asterisk to fill to the left of the number with asterisks. Using *+ tells Excel to fill with plus signs. An asterisk with any character will fill with that character. As the cell gets wider, the number of repeating characters increases.

The ** can go after or before the digits. Column B shows the number format used to achieve the look in column A.

  1. Various repeating character formats.

For more resources for Microsoft Excel