Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Techniques for entering data**

Figure 6-8
Because the number 123,456,789,012 is too long to it in cell A1, Excel displays it in

scientific notation.

For more information about increasing the width of a cell, see “Changing column widths” in

Chapter 9.

The values that appear in formatted cells are called
displayed values
; the values that are

stored in cells and appear in the formula bar are called
underlying values
. The number of

digits that appear in a cell—its displayed value—depends on the width of the column and

any formatting you apply to the cell. If you reduce the width of a column that contains a

long entry, Excel might display a rounded version of the number, a string of number signs

(#), or scientific notation, depending on the display format you’re using.

Note

If you see a series of number signs (######) in a cell where you expect to see a

number, increase the width of the cell to see the numbers again.

TROUBLESHOOTING

My formulas don’t add numbers correctly

Suppose, for example, you write a formula and Excel tells you that $2.23 plus $5.55

equals $7.79, when it should be $7.78. Investigate your underlying values. If you use

currency formatting, numbers with more than three digits to the right of the decimal

point are rounded to two decimal places. In this example, if the underlying values are

2.234 and 5.552, the result is 7.786, which rounds to 7.79. You can either change the

decimal places or select the Set Precision As Displayed check box (click the File tab,

click Options, click the Advanced category, and look in the When Calculating This

Workbook area) to eliminate the problem. Be careful if you select Set Precision As

Displayed, however, because it permanently changes all the underlying values in your

worksheet to their displayed values.