Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Using the Format Cells Dialog Box
✓ Click the More Number Formats option at the very bottom of the
dropdown menu attached to the Number Format button
✓ Click the Number Format dialog box launcher in the lower right of the
✓ Press Ctrl+1
The Format Cells dialog box that this command calls up contains six tabs:
Number, Alignment, Font, Border, Fill, and Protection. In this chapter, I show
you how to use them all except the Protection tab. For information on that
tab, see Chapter 6.
The keystroke shortcut that opens the Format Cells dialog box — Ctrl+1 — is
one worth knowing. Just press the Ctrl key plus the number 1 key, and not the
function key F1.
Understanding the number formats
As I explain in Chapter 2, how you enter values into a worksheet determines
the type of number format that they get. Here are some examples:
✓ If you enter a financial value complete with the dollar sign and two
decimal places, Excel assigns a Currency number format to the cell along
with the entry.
✓ If you enter a value representing a percentage as a whole number followed
by the percent sign without any decimal places, Excel assigns the cell the
Percentage number format that follows this pattern along with the entry.
✓ If you enter a date (dates are values, too) that follows one of the
builtin Excel number formats, such as 11/06/13 or 06-Nov-13, the program
assigns a Date number format that follows the pattern of the date along
with a special value representing the date.
Although you can format values in this manner as you go along (which is
necessary in the case of dates), you don’t have to do it this way. You can always
assign a number format to a group of values before or after you enter them.
Formatting numbers after you enter them is often the most efficient way to go
because it’s just a two-step procedure:
1. Select all the cells containing the values that need dressing up.
2. Select the number format that you want to use from the formatting
command buttons on the Home tab or the options available on the
Number tab in the Format Cells dialog box.