Excel Guides

Using Custom Number Formats in Excel

Excel offers a variety of ways to format numbers. The most common way is to use the built-in number formats, which you can access through the Number tab in the Format Cells dialog box (press Ctrl+1 to open it). These number formats include currency, accounting, date, time, percentage, and more. You can also create your own custom number formats.

To create a custom number format, first select the cells that you want to format. Then open the Format Cells dialog box and select the Custom category from the list on the left. In the Type box, enter the format code that you want to use. The code consists of up to four sections separated by semicolons.

Section 1: Positive Numbers

This section controls how positive numbers are displayed. For example, if you want to display positive numbers with a green background and negative numbers with a red background, you would use this code:

[Green]#,##0;[Red]-#,##0

Section 2: Negative Numbers

This section controls how negative numbers are displayed. If you want to display negative numbers in parentheses, you would use this code:

(#,##0);(#,##0)

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