Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Formatting Numbers
Formatting Cell
Values
Most of the Format Cells dialog box’s other tabs are for cell appearance
formatting, which is covered later in this chapter.
Note: Once you apply formatting to a cell, it retains that formatting even if you clear the cell’s contents
(by selecting it, and then pressing Delete). In addition, formatting comes along for the ride if you copy a
cell, so if you copy the content from cell A1 to cell A2, the formatting comes with it. Formatting includes
both cell value formatting and cell appearance.
The only way to remove formatting is to highlight the cell and select Home➝Editing➝Clear➝Clear
Formats. This command removes the formatting, restoring the cell to its original, General number format
(which you’ll learn more about next), but it doesn’t remove any of the cell’s content.
4. ClickOK.
Excel applies your formatting changes and changes how it displays the values
of the selected cells accordingly.
You’ll spend a lot of time in this chapter at the Format Cells dialog box. As you’ve already
seen, the most obvious way to get there is to choose Home Format Cells Format
Cells. However, your mouse finger is sure to tire out with that method. Fortunately,
there’s a quicker route—you can use one of three dialog box launchers . Figure 16-3
shows the way.
Figure 16-3:
The ribbon’s Home
tab gives you a quick
way to open the
Format Cells dialog
box from three
different spots: the Font,
the Alignment, or the
Number tab.
Tip: If you don’t want to take your fingers off the keyboard, you can use the shortcut Ctrl+1 to show the
Format Cells dialog box at any time.
Formatting Numbers
In the Format Cells dialog box, the Number tab lets you control how Excel displays
numeric data in a cell. Excel gives you a lengthy list of predefined formats (as shown
in Figure 16-4), and also lets you design your own formats. Remember, Excel uses
number formats when the cell contains only numeric information. Otherwise, Excel
 
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