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Formatting numbers and dates

From: Excel 2010 Essential Training

Video: Formatting numbers and dates

Excel has two basic types of formatting. Or that's the way I look at it. You have formatting numbers and then you have formatting for colors, look, feel and fonts. Well formatting numbers is a little more straightforward and there's less to do so we're going to do that in this movie. Now when you look at this worksheet, you see we have the first quarter of the year and some calculations here in Column E and F and we have the cities we're going to, and then we have some other calculations down here at the bottom and we also have some dates. Well let's make these look like numbers because right now we can't tell are these dollars, are they euros, are they bananas? What are they? You see we do have some formatting here in Column F as percentages.

Formatting numbers and dates

Excel has two basic types of formatting. Or that's the way I look at it. You have formatting numbers and then you have formatting for colors, look, feel and fonts. Well formatting numbers is a little more straightforward and there's less to do so we're going to do that in this movie. Now when you look at this worksheet, you see we have the first quarter of the year and some calculations here in Column E and F and we have the cities we're going to, and then we have some other calculations down here at the bottom and we also have some dates. Well let's make these look like numbers because right now we can't tell are these dollars, are they euros, are they bananas? What are they? You see we do have some formatting here in Column F as percentages.

So let's select the numbers across this first row and we also simultaneously want to select the numbers across the Total row so hold down the Ctrl key and your keyboard and just select across. So that's how you can select noncontiguous cells in a worksheet. Now that you have them selected, you want to make sure you're on the Home tab and over here in the Numbers section just click the dollar sign and this applies the dollar format. Well, dollar format is great but it gives us decimals and there are no pennies in here so we want to remove them.

Let's go over here. You see I have these two little symbols here. Click this one. This one will decrease the number of decimals. So right now we have dollar signs, we have comma for thousand separators, and we don't have decimals. So it's kind of a custom format. So now that we have dollars assigned to the first row and the Total row, what we want to do is the remaining numbers, we want to give them commas for thousands separators but we don't want to give them dollar signs and we don't want to give them decimals. So let's select these numbers here, hold down the Ctrl key and drag to select those numbers over there.

And also in this Number area, see I have a comma and click that. That gives you the comma style and you can see it gives you thousands separators and it gives you decimals. So let's go over here and let's decrease the decimal and you could deselect. So now you have something that's pretty typical that a worksheet will have. Now if you did not have this row formatted as percentages, you can simply select that and click the percentage formatting and if you decide maybe you want more decimals, you can click this to increase the number of decimals. So maybe if that's too many, you can again click this to decrease it.

Down over here we have some dates and dates are actually numbers and Excel assigns a serial number to every date and it does that so that you can actually perform calculations on them. Well before we format these, we want to sort of treat them like text. We want them left aligned. So select these three dates and then up here in the Alignment section, click on the Left Align button. So this first date, that's simply the date that this worksheet was created. Well we don't want that to change because it was created on March 31.

That never changes. But today's date might change and the date printed might change. These two are functions and you click this one here and you can see that's the today function that simply reads the current date and over here where it says Printed on, click that. That's the Now function. That gives you, you can see the date and the time. So let's say we want to apply to be a more friendly format. So let's click here on Created on and in the Number group here, click on this little launcher button here and that will bring up the Format Cells dialog box and by the way Ctrl+1 is a shortcut for that.

So in the Number's section, we want to make sure it's a date and you see I have all these sample dates and now let's scroll down here and let's choose this one and when you choose it, you see it shows you sample of what that will actually look like. Click OK and there you go. It's says March 31, 2010 and maybe let's apply a format to this. Maybe I'll click the Format Painter and then click this. Well that's great but this one, we need a little bit more space because we want to give it the month and the day and the year, but we also need the time. Well we're going to need a little bit more space to display all that.

So let's select these three cells and over here in the Alignment section, click Merge & Center. That merges those three cells into one big cell but it also centers them. So let's click this button here to left align them again. So let's go format that. This time maybe I'll press Ctrl+1. Now in the Numbers section this shows us that it's a custom format and over here it shows us the type and let's just select everything and then just delete. And now you can see Excel assigns a long serial number to that particular date.

My advice is for now just to ignore it. We want to put in the month so type m and now when you type the first m it shows you 4 because April is the fourth month. When you type the second m it gives you a leading zero. Type the third m and it abbreviates the month. Type the fourth m and it spells it out. Now type the space, we want the day. If you type a single day-- now this is a two digit. If this were let's say the fifth, a d would give you five. If you type a second d, it would tell you zero five.

So we have the month, we have the day, type a comma. My advice is always use a four digit year. I'll type in four Y's and a space. Now I want this to say something like April 27, 2010 at whatever time it is. 5'o clock or so on. So I'm going to type in literally the word at. That's not a code that's literally going to be displayed as 'at.' Type a space. Now we want to type in the time of day so I'll type in two hs for hours, colon, two ms for minutes, colon, two s's for seconds, click OK and now it tells us April 27, 2010 at 16:09:04.

Well, that's great but maybe you want 12-hour time instead of 24-hour time. Let's go back in there and this time I'll click on this little number launcher here. So we're back in the Custom category and you can see there it is a little slash there for the at. Don't worry about that. Click at the end, type the space and then type in am/pm and you notice this converts it to 12-hour time. Click OK and now we can see that it's April 27, 2010 at 04:09:04 PM. Now this will update whenever the worksheet recalculates.

Now the worksheet will recalculate when you type something in a cell and enter it. If a number changes. You can also force the recalculation and let's go over here to this number for Boston. Now it just says right now it's 2,589. I'm just going to type in 2589 again. Now before I press Enter, see this shows 04:09:04. When I press Enter, this updates the minutes and the seconds. So if you want to force the worksheet to recalculate without actually doing anything, you can simply press the F9 key and that will force the worksheet to recalculate, like that.

So this is some basic number formatting and remember at any time, you could go into this launcher and go into the Format Cells dialog box and you have all of these different categories that you can use for members. I'm going to cancel that out. So my advice is go into that Dialog box and see what's available. I think you'll find some helpful formatting there.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Essential Training
Excel 2010 Essential Training

80 video lessons · 126480 viewers

Bob Flisser
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 35s
    1. Welcome
      57s
    2. Using the exercise files
      38s
  2. 19m 31s
    1. Exploring three common uses for Excel
      3m 17s
    2. Touring the interface
      3m 38s
    3. Finding the commands you need
      3m 51s
    4. Using Backstage view or the File tab
      3m 25s
    5. Maintaining file compatibility
      5m 20s
  3. 21m 23s
    1. Creating a worksheet
      5m 23s
    2. Techniques for copying and pasting
      3m 57s
    3. Entering data automatically with Auto Fill
      4m 37s
    4. Targeting large data groups
      4m 26s
    5. Changing a worksheet's structure
      3m 0s
  4. 47m 50s
    1. Understanding formulas and functions
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data in a worksheet
      3m 22s
    3. Adding numbers manually
      5m 1s
    4. Adding numbers using Sum and AutoSum
      6m 11s
    5. Adding a whole worksheet
      1m 48s
    6. Working with numbers in columns
      4m 53s
    7. Preventing errors using absolute references
      5m 57s
    8. Working with times and dates
      3m 8s
    9. Using IF
      4m 49s
    10. Using SUMIF and AVERAGEIF
      4m 15s
    11. Naming and using cell ranges
      3m 45s
  5. 33m 57s
    1. Formatting numbers and dates
      7m 6s
    2. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      4m 35s
    3. Adjusting columns, rows, and text
      5m 2s
    4. Using conditional formatting
      4m 6s
    5. Using custom conditional formatting
      5m 49s
    6. Adding pictures and shapes
      7m 19s
  6. 25m 27s
    1. Inserting SmartArt
      6m 54s
    2. Coordinating a look using themes
      3m 22s
    3. Applying built-in styles
      3m 16s
    4. Creating and sharing styles
      5m 33s
    5. Using templates
      4m 9s
    6. Creating and using original templates
      2m 13s
  7. 13m 23s
    1. Making the pieces fit
      4m 57s
    2. Inserting headers and footers
      3m 51s
    3. Printing and PDFs
      4m 35s
  8. 34m 3s
    1. Finding and replacing data
      3m 12s
    2. Freezing panes
      3m 0s
    3. Repeating row and column titles
      3m 34s
    4. Creating multiple custom worksheet views
      5m 18s
    5. Hiding or grouping rows and columns
      5m 31s
    6. Managing worksheets
      7m 23s
    7. Calculating formulas across worksheets
      6m 5s
  9. 36m 34s
    1. Importing and exporting data in Excel
      8m 2s
    2. Setting workbook permissions
      6m 44s
    3. Inserting and editing comments
      6m 49s
    4. Sharing a workbook
      1m 25s
    5. Tracking changes
      3m 5s
    6. Saving files in shared locations
      10m 29s
  10. 27m 30s
    1. Splitting cell data into multiple cells
      2m 22s
    2. Joining data from multiple cells
      4m 18s
    3. Basic and multi-field sorting
      6m 30s
    4. Using tables to sort and filter data
      4m 31s
    5. Inserting automatic subtotals
      3m 46s
    6. Creating lookup tables
      6m 3s
  11. 32m 56s
    1. Using auditing to diagram
      6m 3s
    2. Using evaluation in Excel
      2m 2s
    3. Working with Goal Seek
      5m 29s
    4. Using data tables in formulas
      6m 2s
    5. Using scenarios in formulas
      5m 28s
    6. Exploring the Analysis Toolpak
      7m 52s
  12. 18m 1s
    1. Discovering PivotTables
      2m 22s
    2. Creating a basic PivotTable
      2m 46s
    3. Modifying a PivotTable
      6m 57s
    4. Creating and modifying a PivotChart
      5m 56s
  13. 26m 58s
    1. Choosing chart types
      1m 55s
    2. Inserting Sparklines
      3m 54s
    3. Creating a column chart
      3m 23s
    4. Modifying a column chart
      5m 47s
    5. Creating and modifying a pie chart
      6m 45s
    6. Placing Excel charts into other Office applications
      5m 14s
  14. 21m 53s
    1. Understanding macros
      3m 5s
    2. Recording and using a simple macro
      11m 58s
    3. Editing a macro
      6m 50s
  15. 20m 33s
    1. Customizing the Quick Access toolbar
      3m 30s
    2. Customizing the Ribbon bar
      8m 44s
    3. Setting Excel options
      8m 19s
  16. 16s
    1. Goodbye
      16s

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