How to Add Quotes to Your Cells in Excel Automatically

April 30, 2012 / Updated: October 24, 2021 / Lena Shore
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This tip is going to be mostly helpful to people who working with databases. But, if you work with Excel and find yourself needing to deal with repetitive formatting, you might also appreciate the technique.

When working with CSV files you may need to add quotes to either side of a cell’s contents in order to upload them properly to your database. You can easily find yourself working with an Excel file from a workmate that needs to be formatted.

You got this:

But really need this:

This can be a big damn deal if you have hundreds of fields. No one wants to add this by hand. Fortunately, the solution is a snap! It all has to do with applying specific formatting to your cells.

  • Highlight the cells you want to add the quotes.
  • Go to Format –> Cells –> Custom
  • Copy/Paste the following into the Type field: \”@\”
  • Click “okay”
  • Be happy you didn’t do it all by hand.

NOTE: It’s always a good idea to open your file in a text editor to double-check your CSV export. Sometimes you need to do a little find/replace action to get your file picture perfect.