I want to be able to impose the formatting of a string that is part of a string concatenation within a cell formula, ideally depending on the value of another cell. Something like :

="This is " & FORMATSTRING(IF(A1,"bold", "normal"),"bold text")

Can I do this in Google sheets ? If yes, how ?


2 Answers 2


That cannot be done with a custom function, because custom functions cannot format cells. They can only return a value or an array of values that is used when evaluating the formula they are part of.

You can format cells, but not partial cell contents, with a conditional formatting custom formula rule custom formula rule like this:


To format partial cell contents programmatically, you need a script such as formatText.


concat It is not very easy but it can be done without a script, taking advantage of the very high unicode code like 119808 for a bold A. See this test sheet

  • Hmm, after a cursory search, it is possible to do this with italics and italic bold. So it would be possible then to use a custom function. Though is it worth using these Unicode characters?
    – David Tan
    May 9, 2022 at 15:58
  • @David Tan I think it would be difficult to pilot the script based on another cell
    – Daniele
    May 9, 2022 at 17:32

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