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Formatting numbers and dates

From: Excel 2013 Essential Training

Video: Formatting numbers and dates

Excel gives you a variety of ways to display Date and Times. In this worksheet called Date and Time, look at the data in columns B and columns C, both showing essentially the same kind of data, simply displayed differently. The data in column B, shows four- digit-year and column C, two-digit-year. Obviously, one takes up more space. Sometimes that's the issue, usually not. Is it clear to the audience, whoever is using this? Recognize also the data in column I is different too. The formatting in column I, does clarify which month it is.

Formatting numbers and dates

Excel gives you a variety of ways to display Date and Times. In this worksheet called Date and Time, look at the data in columns B and columns C, both showing essentially the same kind of data, simply displayed differently. The data in column B, shows four- digit-year and column C, two-digit-year. Obviously, one takes up more space. Sometimes that's the issue, usually not. Is it clear to the audience, whoever is using this? Recognize also the data in column I is different too. The formatting in column I, does clarify which month it is.

Sometimes and particularly, if you're getting data from other countries, outside the United States, they tend to work with the layout of day, month, year, whereas in the U.S., we tend to use month, day, year. But if there's any doubt, column I tends to eliminate that by that display. Let's take a look at some of the built-in formats here. The standard display in most Excel versions is, as you type an entry, you see a four-digit-year, the way we're seeing these in column B. Let's imagine we might want to change the ones in column C here. If it's the entire column, we'll just right-click on the entire column, and one of the many ways we can get into formatting--Format Cells--after right-clicking.

In the Format Cells Dialog Box>Number tab>Date, and you've got to kind of put the pieces together a little bit, if you simply wanted to show month and day, that's the way we see it right here. We would use that display. Here's the one with the two-digit-year. Here is the one that uses leading zeros for months that are under 10 or days under 10 and other ways to display the data as well here. Quite a few variations as we look through the list, even spelling it out this way. You might even try this one for example. That certainly takes up more space, but it certainly eliminates any doubt as to what you mean by this.

And you could even go further with these. You can apply your own. Now, I often steer people away from the idea that you can actually create a custom format, but what I just did here was to right-click column C and choose Format Cells, and on the Date tab-- after having selected this, I'd just made the adjustment to-- I'm going to jump over to Custom. What I then might do in this display and I don't want to explain every single icon here, but I'm going to change this so that instead of simply four M's, a D, and three Y's, in front of this, I'm going to put four D's.

That actually will spell out day of the week. If I put in three D's and we put in the abbreviation, a comma and a space. Now, would I really care about a higher date as to what day of the week it is? Probably not. But in certain other kinds of data, I might, and this would allow us to see it clearly as we see here. So there are lots of variations on that. These do take up a lot of space, but for clarity, sometimes that make sense. There's only one keystroke shortcut associated with date entries, that's currently being used in column I. If we want to use that in column B, simply click column B and keystroke shortcut is Ctrl +Shift+#.

So, that displays the date information that way. Now, when it comes to times--we've got some columns over here with times-- the way these times are entered--and they're also set up to handle formulas too-- we use colons for time entries. One way to display times is the so- called 24-hour style, which is widely used throughout the world. Maybe a little bit less so in the United States, but even here we see these a lot; 24-hour time like this. The variation you might want to use here is, once again, by right-clicking, going in the Format Cells, on the Number tab>Time.

Maybe not obvious at first, but the choice for PM is right here. Now, this will show AM or PM as necessary. Click OK. So, we see that display and readjusting the column, it's possibly this way. We can display times also more coherently, could have done those both. There we are. We either use the AM or PM or the 24-hour style. If the numbers are coming to you this way and you're saying, "I want to change them all", we'll do the whole columns, here too. Remember, another way to get to Formatting Cells is Ctrl+1.

You can do that here, and the variation here, where we want to want not see AM, PM, is the choice 13:30. Click OK. If you entered times with colons, and previously in our examples, entered dates with slashes or hyphens, you do set the stage for using these in formulas and taking advantage of Excel functions that relate to dates and times. So, it's a strong feature and the formatting capabilities certainly clarify the appearance of the data in the way that you want this data to appear.

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This video is part of

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Excel 2013 Essential Training

82 video lessons · 74128 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 6s
    1. Welcome
      43s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 29m 37s
    1. What is Excel used for?
      1m 49s
    2. Using the menu system
      4m 30s
    3. The Quick Access Toolbar
      4m 41s
    4. The structure of a worksheet or workbook
      3m 41s
    5. Using the Formula bar
      1m 43s
    6. Using the Status bar
      2m 24s
    7. Navigation and mouse pointers
      2m 20s
    8. Shortcut menus and the Mini toolbar
      3m 24s
    9. Using the built-in help
      2m 54s
    10. Creating new files
      2m 11s
  3. 24m 1s
    1. Exploring data entry and editing techniques
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data with AutoFill
      4m 6s
    3. Working with dates and times
      3m 32s
    4. Using Undo and Redo
      4m 50s
    5. Adding comments
      2m 55s
    6. Using Save or Save As
      3m 57s
  4. 30m 7s
    1. Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages
      5m 25s
    2. Copying a formula for adjacent cells
      2m 54s
    3. Calculating year-to-date profits
      3m 9s
    4. Creating a percentage-increase formula
      4m 7s
    5. Working with relative, absolute, and mixed references
      4m 7s
    6. Using SUM and AVERAGE
      3m 25s
    7. Using other common functions
      7m 0s
  5. 46m 7s
    1. Exploring font styles and effects
      4m 7s
    2. Adjusting row heights and column widths
      3m 37s
    3. Working with alignment and Wrap Text
      4m 2s
    4. Designing borders
      3m 26s
    5. Exploring numeric and special formatting
      5m 36s
    6. Formatting numbers and dates
      4m 31s
    7. Conditional formatting
      4m 21s
    8. Creating and using tables
      9m 59s
    9. Inserting shapes, arrows, and other visual features
      6m 28s
  6. 20m 40s
    1. Inserting and deleting rows and columns
      4m 52s
    2. Hiding and unhiding rows and columns
      4m 2s
    3. Moving, copying, and inserting data
      5m 42s
    4. Finding and replacing data
      6m 4s
  7. 17m 51s
    1. Exploring the Page Layout tab and view
      7m 20s
    2. Previewing page breaks
      4m 56s
    3. Working with Page Setup and printing controls
      5m 35s
  8. 30m 30s
    1. Creating charts
      4m 36s
    2. Exploring chart types
      7m 47s
    3. Formatting charts
      5m 42s
    4. Working with axes, labels, gridlines, and other chart elements
      5m 35s
    5. Creating in-cell charts with sparklines
      6m 50s
  9. 12m 49s
    1. Freezing and unfreezing panes
      2m 39s
    2. Splitting screens horizontally and vertically
      4m 48s
    3. Showing necessary information with the Outlining feature
      5m 22s
  10. 23m 0s
    1. Displaying multiple worksheets and workbooks
      4m 17s
    2. Renaming, inserting, and deleting sheets
      2m 23s
    3. Moving, copying, and grouping sheets
      3m 39s
    4. Using formulas to link worksheets and workbooks
      6m 1s
    5. Locating and maintaining links
      6m 40s
  11. 20m 25s
    1. Using IF functions and relational operators
      3m 43s
    2. Getting approximate table data with the VLOOKUP function
      7m 6s
    3. Getting exact table data with the VLOOKUP function
      4m 42s
    4. Using the COUNTIF family of functions
      4m 54s
  12. 23m 50s
    1. Unlocking cells and protecting worksheets
      7m 50s
    2. Protecting workbooks
      2m 40s
    3. Assigning passwords to workbooks
      4m 41s
    4. Sharing workbooks
      4m 7s
    5. Tracking changes
      4m 32s
  13. 28m 32s
    1. Sorting data
      6m 9s
    2. Inserting subtotals in a sorted list
      8m 25s
    3. Using filters
      6m 16s
    4. Splitting data into multiple columns
      5m 4s
    5. Removing duplicate records
      2m 38s
  14. 35m 2s
    1. Creating PivotTables
      8m 36s
    2. Manipulating PivotTable data
      9m 47s
    3. Grouping by date and time
      6m 0s
    4. Grouping by other factors
      2m 33s
    5. Using slicers to clarify and manipulate fields
      4m 7s
    6. Using PivotCharts
      3m 59s
  15. 23m 29s
    1. Using Goal Seek
      6m 8s
    2. Using Solver
      6m 34s
    3. Using Scenario Manager
      6m 11s
    4. Using Data Tables
      4m 36s
  16. 24m 31s
    1. Definition and examples
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a simple macro
      7m 0s
    3. Running a macro
      10m 43s
  17. 29s
    1. Next steps
      29s

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