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Excel has a number of keystroke shortcuts for numeric formatting. For some people this is central to how they use Excel. The data in column J I think for most people is readable and understandable. You might want to consider inserting dollar signs here. That would probably be redundant because this is salary, but nevertheless, you might want to apply dollar signs. A common approach, probably the most common, is on the Home tab to click the dollar sign button. Notice that it does say that it's a counting format and when you choose this it does give you decimals. Two places initially.
You may/may not want them. In this case probably not. You can certainly decrease the decimals quickly this way. If this column is wider, note the dollar signs stay on the left side no matter what. Now when you have got mixed data, for example like we wee here on the budget sheet here, we might want to have dollar signs in different rows, but as columns are wider that may or may not be your best choice. Now, there is a keystroke shortcut associated with using the dollar sign, but it's actually a different format. If we were to right-click column J or press Ctrl+1 by right-clicking, going to Format Cells or pressing Ctrl+1, we will come into the Format Cells dialog box.
The format that we are using here, is it currency, is it accounting? What's the difference? Well for all of us we won't care at all. If we do choose Currency keep an eye on column J there. See what happens to the dollar sign. If you prefer that look or if you do deal with negative data, well there are some options. You might want to change this to be Currency format and don't click the dollar sign. Press Ctrl+ Shift+$, another way of saying this Ctrl+Shift+4 on the main keyboard. So here and there that makes a difference.
If you simply have only a single cell or a few cells like here, if these didn't have dollar signs on them, the alternate is often the Comma button without decimals. So if your data is looking like this and you say well I prefer to have dollar signs on them, you might click the dollar sign or press Ctrl+Shift+$ and then decrease the decimals. But in this example, and its unlike the other entries we see here, the dollar sign is right in next to the data. So it's up to you to decide whether you prefer that or not, but at least it's a handy way to put in dollar signs you just have to make sure that you prefer or at least it doesn't bother you that the dollar sign are right next to the number.
The Comma button here, as we pointed out, is often a better choice when we are dealing with data as in the previous worksheet here, or it would be a better choice here to use comma and then decrease the decimals. There is a keystroke shortcut for that as well. It's Ctrl+Shift+! That's on the number 1 key, and that too gives you initially two decimal places. And get rid of those. Now you may have noticed the subtle difference between this and if I choose comma and then decrease the decimals. What's the difference? There's about half a space left out there.
So this may sound like nitpicking, but if that bothers you, press Ctrl+Shift+! And then decrease the zeroes. Once again, jumping behind the scenes, right-click Format Cells, the distinction here is between a format called Number and the number if it ever has negatives, might have parenthesis. It might not. When we press Ctrl+Shift+! we are choosing this format here and for the negatives it would be this and when we don't have negatives it doesn't leave space for that parenthesis out here.
Because if they were that will be a leading minus. Now again it may seem like splitting hairs, but be aware if the issue about negatives doesn't occur at all, and you want a quick format here, it's Ctrl+Shift+! But the idea with the decimals, get rid of them. Now sometimes in dealing with certain kinds of data you want to use so called General format. I doubt if you'd want to use it here. It is the default format in Excel and if you need it's Ctrl+Shift+~ or Ctrl+ Shift+`, whatever you prefer. It's the key usually above Tab and below Escape. It's go a tilde and a accent mark on it and it simply displays data without commas and dollar signs and if they were decimals we'd seen numbers to the right of the decimals, but if it's a mixed mode we won't see the decimals to the right.
So there wouldn't be any uniformity. Occasionally you need to go back to that display. There is one keystroke shortcut associated with dates. You either like it, or you don't. Column G is certainly readable and understandable, but if you get data from other sources, for example Canada or Europe, many times the month/day order is different. So the keystroke shortcut and the only one that's in Excel for dates is Ctrl+Shift+#. Watch the display. That certainly eliminates any doubt as to which month we are talking about, and it is more readable, and I believe it's widely used in the federal government.
Ctrl+Shift+#. Sometimes it takes that more space than you would want, but it certainly is readable and there is never that momentary doubt as to which month we might be talking about. There is also a single keystroke shortcut associated with time. In a different workbook here we see in column E some time entries, and the way they are put in here you can see, and these are all AM numbers, and then we do come in the afternoon. It's a 24-hour style. For some people, that's totally appropriate, understandable, and usable, and it is widely used in other countries as well. If that's what you want, fine.
If you like the display to be AM/PM, the keystroke shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+@. Perhaps you remember that by thinking oh well I will meet you at 11 o'clock or 2 o'clock or whatever. Ctrl+Shift+@ and we see this display. So we so have one keystroke shortcut associated with time. Previous one we saw for date. Now for whatever reason the date in column D here has not been cleaned up, those look like date numbers or date values, let's apply the format. Ctrl+Shift+#, there we go.
So all of these keystroke shortcuts that we have just mentioned are all you could say available from the top row of keys on the keyboard. The 1 key has exclamation point, the 2 has the at sign, 3 has the pound sign then the dollar sign and so these formatting choices always used with the Shift key, Ctrl from left or right, Ctrl+Shift+~, that's the leftmost key. That's General format. I'll apply it here. Next one over is Ctrl+Shift+1 or Ctrl+Shift+!. Depending on how you say it. That's for the format that puts in commas and decimals, and you might want to suppress the decimals.
Next one over Ctrl+Shift+2 or Ctrl+Shift +@ ,that's the one we just saw for time. Next one over would be Ctrl+Shift+# sign. That's for dates which we applied here. Next one Ctrl+Shift+$. If these are dollar amounts we might want to use that one. Again, you have to decide for the differences between those and the actual buttons on the toolbar to decide if that difference is very meaningful.
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