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):