When we format cells in Excel, we change the appearance of a number without changing the number itself. We can apply a number format (0.8, $0.80, 80%, etc) or other formatting (alignment, font, border, etc).
1. Enter the value 0.8 into cell B2.
2. Select cell B2.
3. Right click, and then click Format Cells (or press CTRL + 1).
The 'Format Cells' dialog box appears.
4. For example, select Currency.
Note: Excel gives you a life preview of how the number will be formatted (under Sample).
Cell B2 still contains the number 0.8. We only changed the appearance of this number. The most frequently used formatting commands are available on the Home tab.
6. On the Home tab, in the Number group, click the percentage symbol to apply a Percentage format.
7. On the Home tab, in the Alignment group, center the number.
8. On the Home tab, in the Font group, add outside borders and change the font color to blue.
Date and Time Formats
Dates and times in Excel can be displayed in a variety of ways. To apply a Date or Time format, execute the following steps.
1. Select cell A1.
2. Right click, and then click Format Cells.
3. In the Category list, select Date, and select a Date format.
4. Click OK.
Note: to apply a Time format, in the Category list, select Time.
5. Dates are stored as numbers in Excel and count the number of days since January 0, 1900. Times are handled internally as numbers between 0 and 1. To clearly see this, change the number format of cell A1, B1 and C1 to General.
Note: apparently, 42544 days after January 0, 1900 is the same as June 23, 2016. 6:00 is represented as 0.25 (quarter through the day).
6. You can enter times as 6:00, but Excel displays this time as 6:00:00 AM in the formula bar. AM is used for times in the night and morning. PM is used for times in the afternoon and evening.
Note: cell C1 still contains the number 42544.25. We only changed the appearance of the number, not the number itself.
8. Finally, if you cannot find the right date or time format, create a custom date or time format.
Currency vs Accounting
The Currency format and the Accounting format in Excel are very similar to each other. This example shows the difference.
1. Enter the following values.
2. The Currency format places the dollar sign right next to the number.
3. The Accounting format aligns the dollar signs at the left edge of the cell and displays a dash for zero values.
Note: the Currency format can display negative numbers with a minus sign, in red, with parentheses, or in red with parentheses. The Accounting format displays negative numbers in parentheses.
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