Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Excel Has Got Your Number(s)
Figure 4–73. The Number tab, in an abridged Format Cells dialog box
We’re back to the Format Cells dialog box, this time showing only one tab. Then click the down
arrow by Symbol and click on any one of the long array of currency formats Excel makes available;
your numbers will take on that denomination, and you’ll note as well that you can add or diminish the
number of decimal points your currency displays, either by typing a number in the Decimal places
field or clicking one of those Spin Box arrows in either direction.
That’s really all there is to the Accounting Number Format, but that’s not all there is to currency
formatting, as we’ll see.
The next button in the Number lineup is Percent Style , and while it’s most easy to use (no
dropdown menu, either!) you need to understand what the style will do to a number. If I type:
41
and select that cell, and click Percent Style, I’ll see:
4100%
And not 41%. That’s because percentages really express a number’s percentage of the number 1—
which is, after all, 100%. Thus our number above—which is 41 times the size of 1—has to turn out to be
4100%. If you were expecting 41%, you will need to have typed . . 41
But there is an alternative way to institute the Percent Style. If I type:
41%
in a cell, complete with the percent sign, I will achieve exactly that figure—41 percent.
T he n e xt button , Comma Style —symbolized, naturally enough, by the comma—imitates the
Accounting Number Format, minus the currency symbol. Thus if I select a cell containing the number
3457, the comma button will make it look like this:
3,457.00

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