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Formatting Values

Numeric values are usually more than just numbers. They represent a dollar value, a date, a percent, or some other value. Excel offers a wide range of number formats, which are listed in Table 17.1.

Table 17.1. Excel's Number Formats
Number FormatExamplesDescription
General10.6 $456,908.00Excel displays your value as you enter it. In other words, this format displays currency or percent signs only if you enter them yourself.
Number3400.50(–120.39)The default Number format has two decimal places. Negative numbers appear in red and in parentheses, preceded by a minus sign.
Currency$3,400.50($3,400.50)The default Currencyformat has two decimal places and a dollar sign. Negative numbers appear in red and in parentheses.
Accounting$3,400.00$978,21Use this format to align dollars signs and decimal points in a column. The default Accounting format has two decimal places and a dollar sign.
Date11/7The default Date formatis the month and day separated by a slash; however, you can select from numerous other formats.
Time10:00The default Time format is the hour and minutes separated by a colon; however, you can opt to display seconds, AM, or PM.
Percentage99.50%The default Percentage format has two decimal places. Excel multiplies the value in a cell by 100 and displays the result with a percent sign.
Fraction1/2The default Fractionformat is up to one digit on either side of the slash. Use this format to display the number of digits you want on either side of the slash and the fraction type (such as halves, quarters, eighths, and so on).
Scientific3.40E+03The default Scientificformat has two decimal places. Use this format to display numbers in scientific notation.
Text135RV90Use Text format todisplay both text and numbers in a cell as text. Excel displays the entry exactly as you type it.
Special02110This format is specific-ally designed to display ZIP codes, phone numbers, and Social Security numbers correctly, so that you don't have to enter any special characters, such as hyphens.
Custom00.0%Use Custom format tocreate your own number format. You can use in the Type list and then make changes to those codes. The # symbol represents a number placeholder, and 0 represents a zero placeholder.



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