Microsoft Excel 2007 tutorial: format numbers


Format numbers

I. Format numbers

You can change the appearance of numbers without changing the number by using the number formats. A number format does not affect the actual cell value that Microsoft Office Excel uses to calculate. The actual value is displayed in the formula bar (a bar at the top of Microsoft Office Excel window that uses to enter or edit value or formula in a cell or chart and displays the constant value or formula that stored in the active cells).

The following figure shows you the number that is formatted as currency.

Excel 2007 number with currency format

In this section, we introduce you the number formats that are available on the Home tab in the Number group. It is just a short description of each number format. For information about how to display numbers in these formats, we provide you in next sections.

To see all available number formats, click Dialog Box Launcher next to Number.

Excel 2007 Dialog Box Launcher

Or you can click drop-down arrow of the Format Number box, and then click More Number Formats.

Excel 2007 More Number Formats

The following are the available number formats with their functionalities.

- General: Excel uses this format as default when you type a number. In general, the numbers that are formatted with the General format are displayed just the way you type them. But, if the cell width is not wide enough to display the whole number, General format rounds the numbers with decimals. For the larger numbers (12 or more digits), the General format uses the scientific (exponential) notation to display them.

- Number: This format is used for the general display of numbers. You can specify the number of decimal places, use a thousands separator, and select the negative type for the numbers.

- Currency: This format is used for general monetary values and displays the default currency symbol with numbers. You can specify the number of decimal places, select the currency symbol that you want to use, and select the negative types that you want the numbers to display.

- Accounting: This format is also used for general monetary values, but it lines up the currency symbols and decimal points in column.

- Date: This format is used to display date and time serial numbers as date values. Date formats that start with an asterisk (*) response to changes in regional date and time settings that are specified for the operating system. The date formats without an asterisk are not affected by operating system settings. You can select the date format type that you want to use in the Type list, and select the location where you are in, in the Locale (location) box.

- Time: This format is used to display date and time serial numbers as time values. Time formats that start with an asterisk (*) response to changes in regional date and time settings that are specified for the operating system. The time formats without an asterisk are not affected by operating system settings. You can select the predefined time format type that you want to use in the Type list, and select the location where you are in, in the Locale (location) box.

- Percentage: This format displays the result with a percent symbol after it multiplies the cell value by 100. It also allows you to specify the number of decimal places that you want to use, in the Decimal places box.

- Fraction: This format displays a number as a fraction, according to the fraction type that you select in the Type list.

- Scientific: This format displays a number in exponential notation. It replaces part of the number with E+n, where E stands for Exponent that multiplies the preceding number by 10 to the nth power. For instance, a 3-decimal Scientific format displays 90000 as 9.000E+04, which is 9 times 4 to the 10th power (Excel 2007 Scientific format). The format also allows you to specify the number of decimal places that you want.

- Text: This format treats a cell content as text even you type a number in the cell. The cell is  displayed exactly as you typed.

- Special: This format displays a number as zip code, phone number, or social security number.

- Custom: This format lets you modify a copy of an existing number format code that you can create your own custom number format to add to the list of custom number format codes. The custom number formats that you can add are between 200 and 250, basing on the language version of Microsoft Office Excel that you have installed.

 


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