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Formatting in Cells

The Format Cells command controls the display characteristics of numbers and text. It is important to keep in mind the difference between underlying and displayed worksheet values. Formats do not affect the underlying numeric or text values in cells. For example, if you type a number with six decimal places into a cell that is formatted with two decimal places, the number is displayed with only two decimal places. However, the underlying value isn't changed, and Excel uses the underlying value in calculations.

Format before you copy

When you copy a cell, you copy both its contents and its formatting. If you then paste this information into another cell, the formatting of the source cell replaces any pre-existing formatting. To take advantage of this time-saver, be sure to format your source cell before you choose the Copy and Paste commands or the Fill command. For more information about copying and pasting, see Chapter 7, “Worksheet Editing Techniques.”



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