Applying Number Formatting to Data
Number formats are specialized formats that are applied, as the name suggests, to numerical data. Number formats include percent formatting, currency formatting, date formatting, converting decimals to fractions and increasing / decreasing the number of decimal places displayed in a cell.
In this tutorial we will apply three different number formats to our data: currency, percent formatting, and decreasing the number of decimal places displayed.
Common number formats, such as the ones we are going to apply can be found on the Home tab of the ribbon. All available number formats can be found in the Format Cells dialog box.
Applying Percent Formatting
- Drag select cells E5 and E6 - the range we want formatted for percent
- Click on the percent icon ( % ) in the Number format section of the ribbon.
- The numbers in cells E5 and E6 should now read: 6% and 8%
Applying Currency Formatting
- Drag select cells E8 to G12 - the range of data to which we want to apply currency formatting.
- Click on the down arrow beside the word General in the Number format section of the ribbon to open the format drop down menu.
- Click on the Currency option in the list.
- The range of data in cells E8 to G12 should now be formatted for currency with two decimal places.
Note: The dollar sign symbol ( $ ) on the ribbon is a shortcut to the Accounting Number format which is different from the regular currency format we are using.
Decreasing Decimal Places
Since the currency amounts in cells E8 to E12 are in whole dollar amounts, we can remove the decimal places for this data to make the worksheet appear less busy. Decreasing decimal places does not change the data in anyway, it just reduces the number of digits appearing in the worksheet cell.
To alter the data you would need to use one of Excel's rounding functions.
- Drag select cells E8 to E12.
- Click twice on the Decrease Decimal icon in the Number format section of the ribbon.
- The number in these cells should now have currency symbols but no decimal places showing. For example E8 should now read: $45,987
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