How to Make an Overbar in Excel

By C. Taylor

Overbars allow you to format special characters, such as "X-bar," which is commonly used to represent the mean or average of a series of numbers. Although, you can use Excel's Equation Editor to create complex equations, the results appear in a floating box, rather than inside an actual cell. Aside from the added complication in using this method, this makes referencing the text more difficult. A more user-friendly approach is to add an overbar to regular text using a unique combination of font types.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Excel and click the cell where you want the overbar letter to appear.

Step 2

Click the font drop-down menu on the Home tab and select the "Symbol" font.

Step 3

Type a grave accent, which is usually located just above the Tab key on your keyboard.

Step 4

Click the font drop-down menu again and select the font you want to use for the letter.

Step 5

Type the letter you want formatted with an overbar and press "Enter." Excel automatically converts the two symbols into one overbar letter, such as "X" appearing with a line over it.