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Microsoft Excel 2008

Formatting Numbers

Excel provides preset number formats to help you standardize how numbers will appear in your worksheet. You may also customize number formats to fit your needs.

EXAMPLES:
When formatted as Currency, the number 9.25 will appear as $9.25.
When formatted as Fraction, the number 9.25 will appear as 9 1/4.

return to topNumber Formatting Options

Excel provides many formatting options for numbers and even allows for you to customize number formats to fit your needs.

Name Description
General This option leaves numbers as typed with no number formatting except for the number being aligned the right
NOTE: Text is aligned to the left.
Number Used for the general display of numbers
Currency Used for general monetary values
Accounting Used to line up the currency symbols and decimal points in a column
Date Used to display date and time serial numbers as date values
Time Used to display date and time serial numbers as time values
Percentage Used to format the number as a percentage by multiplying the number by 100 and adding a percentage symbol
Fraction Used to format the number into a fraction
EXAMPLE: .25 into ¼
Scientific Used to display formulas with numbers and letters where the numbers have decimals
Text Used to format the cell with a number as a text cell
NOTE: The cell is displayed exactly as entered and aligned to the left.
Special Used to display numbers such as a zip-code, phone number, or Social Security number
Custom Used to customize a number formatting to fit your needs

 

return to topFormatting Numbers: Formatting Palette Option

The Formatting Palette offers a simple way to apply number formatting. To customize number formatting, refer to Formatting Numbers: Dialog Box Option.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to format

  2. Click TOOLBOXToolbox button
    The Formatting Palette appears.

  3. If the Number section is not expanded, click it
    The Number section expands.
    Number section of the Formatting Palette

  4. In the Number section, from the Format pull-down menu, select the desired format
    The desired format is applied.
    HINT: The default format is General.

return to topFormatting Numbers: Dialog Box Option

The Format Cells dialog box can help you customize your number formatting.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to format

  2. From the Format menu, select Cells...
    The Format Cells dialog box appears.
    Format Cell dialog box - Number tab

  3. If the Number tab is not selected, select it

  4. From the Category list, select the desired number format
    Additional options may appear.

  5. From any additional option(s), make the desired selection(s)

  6. Click OK
    The desired format is applied.

return to topClearing Number Formatting

The General number format is the default format. Changing the formatting to General will remove all other number formatting for the selected cells.

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to format

  2. Click TOOLBOXToolbox button
    The Formatting Palette appears.

  3. If the Number section is not expanded, click it
    The Number section expands.
    Number section of the Formatting Palette

  4. In the Number section, from the Format pull-down menu, select General
    The formatting is cleared.

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