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Chapter 4. Formatting Your Worksheets > Common Problems and Solutions

Common Problems and Solutions

When you start changing the way your data appears, formatting problems may arise. This list outlines some of the formatting glitches you might run into and possible solutions you can try.

Q1:After I add formatting to a cell, number signs appear.
A1: Your cell is too narrow to display the data. Widen the column by selecting Format, Column, AutoFit Selection.
Q2:When I apply an AutoFormat the titles suddenly make the column widths too wide.
A2: Try centering the titles across cells instead. See the instructions under "Center a Heading," earlier in this chapter.
Q3: When I select AutoFormat, a message appears saying it cannot detect a table around the active cell.
A3: You've selected a single cell instead of a range. AutoFormat won't work unless you select more than one cell.
Q4:I centered text across cells, but when I select the cell containing the title, it doesn't appear.
A4: You're probably selecting the wrong cell. If the title is centered across a range, you may need to click the cell to the far left of where the title appears.
Q5:I tried to center a title using the Center Across Selection command, but it won't center.
A5: Perhaps one of the cells you're centering across has data or even a space character. Select the cell and press Delete, and then try to center the title again.
Q6:I've rotated the text in a cell, and now it isn't completely visible.
A6: You need to adjust the row's height. Select Format, Row, AutoFit, or choose the Height command and specify a larger row height.
Q7:I tried to create a custom number format for international currency by modifying the settings in my Control Panel, but now all the currency formats have changed.
A7: To create a custom number format for international currency in Excel, you don't need to change the settings in the Windows Control Panel. Instead, select the Custom category from the Number tab in the Format Cells dialog box (as explained in the section "Creating a Custom Number Format," earlier in this chapter) and enter the code for the currency symbol you want to use.
Q8:I'm having trouble seeing the borders I've added to my cells.
A8: It's easier to view border formatting if you turn off Excel's worksheet gridlines. To do so, choose Tools, Options, and then deselect the Gridlines check box.
Q9:I changed the color format for a cell, and now I can't see the entry.
A9: You may have selected a background color that's the same as the cell entry color. Try another color for the background, or change the color of the cell entry text.
Q10:I can't seem to unhide a column.
A10: If you're having trouble unhiding a column by dragging its border, select that column and the columns on either side, and then choose Format, Column, Standard Width. Click OK. Then you should be able to resize the column as needed.



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