Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Formatting in depth
Formatting in depth
The formatting features in Excel control the display characteristics of numbers and text. Be
sure to keep in mind the difference between underlying and displayed worksheet values.
Formats do not affect the underlying numeric or text values in cells. For example, if you
type a number with six decimal places in a cell that is formatted with two decimal places,
Excel displays the number with only two decimal places. However, the underlying value isn’t
changed, and Excel uses the underlying value in calculations.
Note
When you copy a cell or range of cells, you copy both its contents and its formatting. If
you then paste this information into another cell or range, the formatting of the source
cells normally replaces any existing formatting. For more information about copying
and pasting, see Chapter 8.
Most of your formatting needs should be quickly and easily fulfilled using buttons and
controls located on the Home tab on the ribbon, but for more options, you can employ the
Format Cells dialog box. To display the Format Cells dialog box, press Ctrl+1. Alternatively,
click one of the dialog box launchers adjacent to the titles of the Font, Alignment, and
Number groups on the Home tab. Clicking a dialog box launcher also activates the
corresponding tab. Figure 9-32 shows the Format Cells dialog box.
Throughout the following sections, we’ll discuss formatting options available directly on the
ribbon, but we’ll go into more depth by employing the Format Cells dialog box.
Formatting individual characters
If you select a cell and apply formats, the entire contents of the cell receive the formats.
However, you can also apply formatting to individual text characters within cells (but not
numeric values or formulas). Select individual characters or words inside a cell, and apply
the attributes you want. When you are finished, press Enter to see the results, an example
of which is shown in Figure 9-33.
For more examples of formatting individual characters, see “Using fonts” later in this chapter.
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