Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Changing the Cell Value Format
Formatting Cell
Values
Changing the Cell Value Format
Before long, you’ll need to change a cell value format, or you’ll want to fine-tune it.
The basic process unfolds like this:
1. Selectthecellsyouwanttoformat.
You can apply formatting to individual cells or a collection of cells. Usually,
you’ll want to format an entire column at once because all the values in a
column typically contain the same type of data. Remember, to select a column, you
simply need to click the column header (the gray box at the top with the column
letter) or press Ctrl+Space.
Note: Technically, a column contains two types of data: the values you’re storing within the actual cells
and the column header in the topmost cell (where the text is). However, you don’t need to worry about
unintentionally formatting the column title because Excel applies number formats only to numeric cells
(cells that contain dates, times, or numbers). Excel doesn’t use the number format for the column header
cell because it contains text.
2. SelectHome Cells Format FormatCells,orjustright-clicktheselection,
andthenchooseFormatCells.
In either case, the Format Cells dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 16-2.
Figure 16-2:
The Format Cells dialog box provides
one-stop shopping for cell value and
cell appearance formatting. The
Number tab lets you configure numeric
value formatting. The Alignment,
Font, Border, and Fill tabs control the
cell’s appearance.
3. Settheformatoptions.
The Number tab’s options let you choose how Excel translates the cell value into
a display value. For example, you can change the number of decimal places that
Excel uses to show the number. (The next section covers number formatting
choices in much more detail.)
 
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