Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Time Is On Your Side—Yes It Is
number—31456.17—extracts and uses only the digits to the left of the decimal point. Choose Time and
only the .17 is used.
An d for putti n g up wi th al l that, y ou g e t a br e ak—be cause we ’ v e al r e ady di scusse d the n e xt
format— Percentage (even though Excel calls the equivalent button Percentage Style ).
The next option, Fraction, is a wee bit tricky. It presents any less-than-whole number in fractional
terms. This:
12.5
would be formatted by Fraction as 12 1/2.
That looks pretty simple, and it is; but by default Fraction rounds off if necessary. That is, the
number:
34.32
will be treated by Fraction as 34 1/3 for starters, and that’s not quite exact. As you’ll see a bit later,
however, there are ways of adjusting this discrepancy.
The penultimate option, Scientific , per forms a scientific-notational makeover on a number. Type
567 for example and Scientific gives you:
5.67E+02
Thus 0.67 becomes:
6.70E-01
Notice the plus and minus exponent references.
And finally, Text imputes a text format to whatever you write in the cell. That sounds a bit
gratuitous; after all, how else could you possibly format a prose sentence? True, but Text can also
format numbers as text, although you’re not likely to want to do such a thing—because doing so
compromises the numbers’ mathematical character. However, there are times when numerical data
imported from the Internet assumes textual form, and some tinkering is required in order to restore
their true quantitative status.
Now you’ll also note that the last entry on the Number:General Format drop-down menu is
entitled More Number Formats, and clicking it delivers you to the Number tab in the ubiquitous Format
Ce l l s di al og box (Fi g ur e 4– 79):
 
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