Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
that lets you type a new width, which will apply to all worksheet columns—except those whose widths
y ou’ v e al r e ady chan g e d. An d don ’ t ask me why the di al og box i s cal l e d Standard , and not Default,
And before we bring this chapter to a close, there’s one slightly loose end we need to tie for neatness’
sake. On the chapter’s very first page, I declared that:
“…apart from one obscure exception, formatting data on the worksheet
changes the appearance , and not the value , of those data..”
You’ve politely refrained from asking the big question, so I’ll do it for you: What’s the exception?
It’s this: if you click the File tab, click Options , then click Advanced an d scoot down to the When
calculating this workbook se cti on , y ou’ l l ta k e n ote of a n un che ck e d comma n d ca l l e d Set precision as
displayed . If you check it, any number you’ve formatted with X decimal points will become precisely
that number. That is, if you’ve entered 5.76 in a cell and formatted that value to one decimal point,
you’ll see 5.8. But with Set precision as displayed, 5.8 becomes its value , too—and this is an all-or-
nothing proposition. Turning this option on impacts all the values in the workbook—that is, all its
worksheets. And when you click OK, a prompt on screen reminds of just that: you’ll be told, “Data will
permanently lose accuracy,” meaning your values will take on new, rounded-off values.
And that’s precisely what happens.
Long chapter, long subject. That’s because appearances matter. They can’t substitute or cover for
mistaken formulas, or worksheets that don’t deliver the information that’s been requested. You can’t
really fake a spreadsheet, but the ways in which data are presented , or formatted, are integral to the
spreadsheet process too. Think of spreadsheet design as a kind of desktop publishing—and it is—and
the issue becomes clearer. And the next chapter, on charting, picks up the baton and runs with the same
theme. Charts: More than pretty pictures? You bet; just turn the page.