Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
When you enter a number that begins or ends with a percent sign, Excel applies the
Percentage format, using up to two decimal places. The value you enter in this fashion is
divided by 100 for storage. If you enter 5%, Excel stores it as 0.05. When you apply the
Percentage format to a number that you previously entered using the General or Number
format, Excel multiplies it by 100 for display purposes and adds a percent sign.
In sharp contrast to the decimal options available elsewhere, the options in the Fraction
category display values using old-style display formats like ½ and ¼. If the number is
between 0 and 1, the fraction appears by itself. Excel also supports compound fractions,
which include a whole number and a fraction, such as 8½.
To apply a Fraction format automatically when entering data, enter the whole number
followed by a space and the fraction. If the number is less than 1, start with 0 and a space,
like this: 0 7/16. (If you leave out the zero and space, Excel assumes you mean the date July
16 and will helpfully convert your entry to a date serial number and format.) The value is
stored as a decimal, 0.4375 in this example.
For more control over the display of fractions, use the Fraction category in the Format Cells
dialog box, as shown here.