Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Starting your holiday spreadsheet
Select the cells that contain your prices and click Format on the Home ribbon
(indicated in Figure 5.1). From the menu that opens, click Format Cells to open the
Format Cells window you can see in Figure 5.1.
The categories on the left of the Format Cells window show you all the types of
format you can use. There are 12 different formats, but you will probably only
ever need ﬁ ve of them:
• General. This is the default and shows exactly what you typed in.
• Number. You can specify how many decimal places should be shown and
whether a comma is used in numbers larger than 999 (eg 1,000).
• Currency. You can choose a currency symbol, and specify the number of
decimal places to use.
• Date. This enables you to standardise how dates are displayed, with choices
including ‘14 March 2001’ and ‘14/3/01’. You can type a date into a cell in
any of these formats and Excel will recognise it as a date and convert it to your
• Percentage. If you want to enter 5% into a spreadsheet, for example, type
in 0.05 and then format it as a percentage. On screen, you’ll see 5%, but
the cell’s value will still be 0.05, which means you can just multiply it with
another cell to work out 5% of that other cell. Don’t worry if that’s confusing
for now. You’ll have a gentle introduction to maths with Excel shortly.
• Text. This is the same as putting an apostrophe as the ﬁ rst character – it tells
Excel to treat numbers like words.
Click Currency. Where it says Symbol, click the pulldown menu and scroll through
all the different ﬂ avours of pounds, dollars and yen to reach the euros. If you use
the mouse, the money can ﬂ y past your eyes too fast (a bit like watching your
direct debits on payday using internet banking). It’s easier to click the Symbol
pulldown, use the up and down cursor keys to ﬁ nd the right one, and press the
Enter key when you’ve found it. As well as a euro option for each member
country, there are two different generic euro formats so you can choose to put the
symbol after or before your number. When you click OK, your cells will be
formatted with the currency symbol.