Excel information: Formatting numbers – General information

Excel information: YOUR OBJECTIVE

In Excel, you can format numbers in a variety of ways – for example: with more or fewer decimal places, with or without a thousands separator, with or without red negative numbers, etc.

In this learning object “Excel information: How to format numbers”, you will discover how to format and display numbers.

Excel information formate numbers: HOW DOES IT WORK?

To assign number formats to a cell or range of cells, first select the cell or cells that you want to format.

Commands for showing more or fewer decimal places or using a thousands separator are on the Home tab, in the Number group.

To add a decimal place , click the button (Home tab, Number group). Clicking twice adds two decimal places, and so on.

In a similar fashion, you can reduce the number of decimal places displayed. To do so, select a cell or range of cells and then click until all unwanted decimal places have been eliminated.

Excel information: CAUTION

Because Excel internally stores decimal numbers with as much accuracy as possible, hiding or displaying positions in the way described above merely affects how numbers are displayed. Regardless of the number of decimal places displayed, Excel will make calculations using the entire (internal) number, which includes all possible decimal places. If you want calculations to use only a limited number of decimal places, which is sometimes desirable, you can optionally round numeric values. You will learn how to do this in another learning module that deals explicitly with ROUNDING.

To display numbers with a thousands separator , click the button on the Home tab, in the Number group.

More possibilities for formatting numbers are available in the Format Cells dialog box. To open this dialog box, click the dialog box launcher in the Number group, on the Home tab.

If the selected cell or cells contain a number that was not previously formatted as a number, the General category will be preselected on the Number tab. Otherwise, the last used number format will be preselected:

In the Sample area, the contents of the active cell are displayed with the current formatting. If you have selected identically formatted multiple cells, Excel will display the contents of the first selected cell. If the selected range contains mixed formatting, no sample is shown.

With the Decimal places option, you specify the number of decimal places to display after the decimal point.

With the Use 1000 Separator (,) checkbox you can activate or deactivate the display of the thousands separator.

In the Negative Numbers area you specify how negative numbers are displayed.

When satisfied with your settings, click OK.

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