Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Customizing Number Formats
Here’s another tip: instead of directly entering 1/15 in a cell, you could have also entered
1-15. Excel’s general format will also treat that expression as a date. And if you enter a
date from the current year, you don’t need to enter any reference to the year; 1/15 will
be read as 1/15/11. But if you want to enter the same date from, say, two years ago,
you’ll need to enter 1/15/09.
Customizing Number Formats
If you’re not quite happy with any of the formatting suggestions supplied by the Number
Format drop-down menu, there are still more ways to remake the appearance of values.
The Special Formats Option
The Format Cells dialog box lists a Special option, which automatically formats values with
four built-in looks that you can apply to values (see Figure 5–66).
Figure 5–66. The Special formatting option
The Social Security Number option, for example, lets you type the nine-digit numbers
without those pesky dashes that punctuate the numbers. Thus, if you select the desired
cells and click Social Security Number, you’ll be able to type 123456789, and have it
automatically rewritten as 123-45–6789, sparing you the slightly odious task of
remembering exactly where to enter those dashes.
 
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