Cell Formatting In Excel

Cell Formatting In Excel

Cell formatting in excel is an essential part of learning Excel. Many tasks in the Excel sheet are based on cell formatting. Using the correct cell formatting in the right place will build your knowledge of the basics of Excel. This will save you time and effort, and formatting will make your Excel sheet more decent and organized. 

Excel software will format the cell depending on what type of content is placed in the cell. If you want to format the highlighted cell, follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to the home tab.

Step 2: Go to the Number section.

Step 3: Select the “Number format” from the drop-down list. 

Click on the drop-down list to select the desired cell format. 

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What are the Various Types of Cell Formatting in Excel?

Formatting cells options in the ”Number Format” drop-down list are:

  • General 
  • Number 
  • Currency
  • Accounting
  • Short Date
  • Long Date 
  • Time 
  • Percentage 
  • Fraction
  • Scientific
  • Text 

Clicking on the “More Number Formats” option will bring up additional options for formatting cells. 

cell formatting in excel

The additional option contains types of cell formatting in Excel, such as General, Number, Currency, Accounting, Date, Time, percentage, fraction, Scientific, text, Special(Zip Code, Zip code+4, Phone Number), and Custom format cell. 

Let us get into the details of each cell formatting type one by one:

  1. General Format: By default, cells are in the General format, which could store any information. There is no specific format in a general form.

When we type into a cell, the cell format automatically changes. For example, if we enter the text 45%, the cell format will automatically change to the percentage. If you select the format after selecting the cell, you will get the desired format in that cell. 

For Example, start by selecting the cell you wish to format. Then, enter the type of format you want. Suppose you want a date. Type the date, and the cell will receive it in the same format. Pressing Enter updates the value based on the selected format type.

  1. Number Format: This is the number format. When we enter the number in the cell, it will automatically change to the Number format. The alignment of the information within the cell will be selected by default. This will make it easier to read a list of numbers.

How to Format Cell in Excel Shortcut?

Another Method of formatting cells for Excel Numbers is:

Step 1: Go to the Home tab.

Step 2: Now, click on “The Dialog Box Launcher” button in the number section.

Step 3: Select the cell or the range of the cell for which you want to set the format option.  

Excel opens the “Format Cell” dialog box. Choose the “category” panel in the number dialog box. 

Select the number of decimal places you want in your text for more settings. Update according to your needs.

You can access the same option in the home tab.

Step 1: Go to the Home tab.

Step 2: Go to the Number section.

Step 3: Select the increase Decimal or decrease Decimal to achieve the required decimal.

To optimize it more precisely, add a 1000 separator option in the “Format Cell” dialog box. For Formatting the cell, this feature is also available in the Home Tab of the ribbon by clicking the Comma Style button in the Number Group.

For displaying the Negative Number in the cell, you can choose any of the Four options:

  • Displaying a Negative Number with the Negative Sign.
  • Display negative with the red color.
  • Displaying the negative Numbers with Parenthesis.
  • Displaying the number with red color in parenthesis.
  1. Accounting Number Format: Accounting numbers contain two numbers after the decimal by default. Clicking the “Accounting Number Format”  button in the number group in the home tab will format a cell as accounting.

The down arrow in the down left corner of the text will allow selection between common symbols used for accounting, like the English- Dollar, Euro, Chinese, and French symbols.

Accounting Formatting Option: The dialog box appears. In the number group, click on the accounting option. In the “Format Cell” dialog box, select the desired number of decimal places.

  1. Date Format: The number Format dropdown list preset in the Home tab contains two types of date format: “Short Date” and “Long Date.”

Short dates are present, with slashes separating month, date, and year. The order of dates and months depends on the computer location Setting. In some areas, the date is present before the month, whereas in some sheets, the month is present first with the day. 

Once you open the Format Cell dialog box, you can customize the dates and type according to your requirements. Choose any one available date format from the long list. You can update the location setting to format the date. 

  1. Time Format: Cell formatting through time displays the time of day. The default time display is based on the computer location setting. 

The time formatting option can be optimized through the above-given method. You can open the Format cell dialog box. You will choose the type of Time format you want to apply to the cell there. Then, you will select the required location to format the time. 

  1. Percentage Format: Cell displayed the percentage sign on the right side of the number. You can change the format of the cell to the percentage using the number format option in the drop-down list and click on the Percentage style option.

Suppose you select the percentage format cell, then after writing 0.08, it will be converted into 8% within the cell. 

  1. Fraction Format: Cell formatting as a fraction displays with a slash symbol separating the numerator from the denominator. When you click on the drop-down arrow to select the fraction format. Then select the required option from the Type. The “Up to one digit” will get rounded off to two digits. Example: if you enter the value 7/16, the value displayed will be 4/9 as converting to 9th was the option with only one digit.  

If we enter a value of 4/16 the value displayed will be 1/4. Excel rounded up to 2/8 or 1/4, which was the closest option divisible by four.  

  1. Scientific Format: Scientific format, also known as Exponential notation, allows a large no to be accurately represented within a cell. The way exponential notation works is it places a decimal that would make the number shorter. 

Let’s take an example to show the use case of scientific format.

Examples of converting a large number into a small number

2002.00E+02
4,000,0004.00E+06
8,000,000,000,0008.00E+12

Example with a smaller number, where the decimal is moved to the right:

0.11.00E-01
0.00055.00E-05
0.00000000044.00E-10

For more options, you can check the “Format Cell” dialog box accessible by going to the home page and clicking on the More Number Format option of the “Number Format” drop down list. 

  1. Text Format: In general, when entering text in a cell, you won’t set its type to text as the default format type general is used in max cases. This format is used when you want to display the numbers with leading zeroes when you want the space before or after a number or to display symbols that Excel normally uses for the formulas. 
  1. Special Format: Special format gives four types of options in the “Format Cell” dialog box. These are Zip code, Zip code-4, Phone Number, and Social Security Number. 

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