Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Working with Fractions**

Working with Fractions

Although most users work with decimal values, some types of data are normally displayed as

fractions, not as decimals. This tip describes how to enter noninteger values as fractions.

To enter a whole number and a fraction into a cell, leave a space between the whole number and

the fractional part. For example, to display 6
7
⁄
8
, type 6 7/8 and then press Enter. When you select

the cell,
6.875
appears on the Formula bar, and the cell entry appears as a fraction.

If you have only a fraction (for example,
1
⁄
8
), you must enter a zero first, like this: 0 1/8 — otherwise,

Excel likely assumes that you’re entering a date. When you select the cell and look at the Formula

bar, you see
0.125
. In the cell, you see
1/8
.

If the numerator is larger than the denominator, Excel converts it to a whole number and a

fraction. For example, if you enter 0 65/8, Excel converts it to
8 1/8
.

After you enter a fraction, bring up the Format Cells dialog box and take a look at the number

format for the cell. You see that Excel automatically applied one of its Fraction number formats

(see Figure 36-1).

Figure 36-1:
A list of the Excel built-in Fraction number formats.

Figure 36-2 shows a worksheet that displays fractional data. The values in column C are

expressed in 4ths, 8ths, and 16ths, and the values in column D are all in 16ths.

If none of the built-in Fraction number formats meets your needs, you might be able to create a

custom number format. Press Ctrl+1, and in the Format Cells dialog box, click the Number tab. In