Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Formatting numbers**

technically wrong. It is not particularly intuitive to type
.13
(including the leading

decimal point). Usability studies show that most people would type
13
in this situation, which

would logically result in a displayed value of 1300% (if not for the quirky behavior), so Excel

assumes that you want to display 13%. If you apply the Percentage format to a range of

cells that already contain values (or formulas that result in values), check all the cells

afterward to make sure you get the intended results.

Figure 9-38
When using percentages, it makes a difference whether you format before or after

typing values.

Formatting fractions

The formats in the Fraction category in the Format Cells dialog box, shown in Figure 9-39,

display fractional numbers as actual fractions rather than as decimal values. As with all

number formats, the underlying value does not change despite the displayed value of the

fraction.

You can generate some wild, nonstandard fractions unless you apply constraints using

options in the Format Cells dialog box. Here is how Excel applies different fraction formats:

●
The Up To One Digit (single-digit) fraction format displays 123.456 as 123 1/2,

rounding the display to the nearest value that can be represented as a single-digit fraction.

●
The Up To Two Digits (double-digit) fraction format uses the additional precision

allowed by the format and displays 123.456 as 123 26/57.

●
The Up To Three Digits (triple-digit) fraction format displays 123.456 as the even

more precise 123 57/125.

The remaining six fraction formats specify the exact denominator you want by

rounding to the nearest equivalent—for example, displaying 123.456 using the As

Sixteenths format, or 123 7/16.

●