Display dates, times, currency, fractions, or percentages

You can use number formats to change the appearance of numbers, including dates and times, without changing the actual number. The number format does not affect the cell value that Excel uses to perform calculations. The actual value is displayed in the formula bar.

Select a number format

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, select a number format on the Number Format box. Data from a selected cell is shown in each possible format.

    Number Formats box on the Home tab

Display or hide the thousands separator

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, click Comma Style  Display the value of the cell with a thousands separator .

    Note: Excel uses the Mac OS system separator for thousands. You can specify a different system separator by changing the regional settings in Mac OS X International system preferences.

Change the display of negative numbers

You can format negative numbers by using minus signs, by enclosing them in parentheses, or by displaying them in a red font color either within opening and closing parentheses or without parentheses.

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, click Format, and then click Format cells.

    On the Home tab, Format is highlighted

  3. Do one of the following:

    To display

    Do this

    Simple numbers

    In the Category list, click Number.

    Currency

    In the Category list, click Currency.

  4. In the Negative numbers box, select the display style that you want to use for negative numbers.

Control the display of digits after the decimal point in a number

The display format for a number is different from the actual number that is stored in a cell. For example, a number might be displayed as rounded off when there are too many digits after the decimal point for the number to display fully in a column. However, any calculations that include this number will use the actual number that is stored in the cell, not the rounded-off form that is displayed. To control how Excel displays digits after the decimal point, you can adjust the column width to accommodate the actual number of digits in the number, or you can specify how many of these digits are to be displayed for a number in a cell.

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, click either Increase Decimal   Increase the number of decimal places or Decrease Decimal   Decrease the number of decimal places once for each decimal place that you want to add or remove.

Select a number format

You can use number formats to change the appearance of numbers, including dates and times, without changing the actual number. The number format does not affect the cell value that Excel uses to perform calculations. The actual value is displayed in the formula bar.

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, under Number, select a number format on the Number Format pop-up menu.

Display or hide the thousands separator

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, under Number, click Display the value of a cell with a thousands separator  Display the value of the cell with a thousands separator .

    Note: Excel uses the Mac OS system separator for thousands. You can specify a different system separator by changing the regional settings in Mac OS X International system preferences.

Change the display of negative numbers

You can format negative numbers by using minus signs, by enclosing them in parentheses, or by displaying them in a red font color either within opening and closing parentheses or without parentheses.

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Format menu, click Cells, and then click the Number tab.

  3. Do one of the following:

    To display

    Do this

    Simple numbers

    In the Category list, click Number.

    Currency

    In the Category list, click Currency.

  4. In the Negative numbers box, select the display style that you want to use for negative numbers.

Control the display of digits after the decimal point in a number

The display format for a number is different from the actual number that is stored in a cell. For example, a number might be displayed as rounded off when there are too many digits after the decimal point for the number to display fully in a column. However, any calculations that include this number will use the actual number that is stored in the cell, not the rounded-off form that is displayed. To control how Excel displays digits after the decimal point, you can adjust the column width to accommodate the actual number of digits in the number, or you can specify how many of these digits are to be displayed for a number in a cell.

  1. Select the cells that you want to adjust.

  2. On the Home tab, under Number, click either Increase the number of decimal places  Increase the number of decimal places or Decrease the number of decimal places  Decrease the number of decimal places once for each decimal place that you want to add or remove.

See also

Create and apply a custom number format

Number format codes

Display numbers as postal codes, Social Security numbers, or phone numbers

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