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Formatting numbers

From: Numbers '09 Essential Training

Video: Formatting numbers

Formatting the numbers in a table allows you to make better sense of the values being displayed. Let's use this version of our Running Club Data spreadsheet to explore some number formats. The values we see in each of the tables in this spreadsheet are kilometers. But we really wouldn't know this by looking at the values. Well, we can change numbers to another format. One option is to select the cells first. Let's click and drag over all of the cells containing numbers in our first table named Distance Run - Men. And let's change the format by using the Format bar. Here you will find some predefined formats like Percentage and Currency, for example.

Formatting numbers

Formatting the numbers in a table allows you to make better sense of the values being displayed. Let's use this version of our Running Club Data spreadsheet to explore some number formats. The values we see in each of the tables in this spreadsheet are kilometers. But we really wouldn't know this by looking at the values. Well, we can change numbers to another format. One option is to select the cells first. Let's click and drag over all of the cells containing numbers in our first table named Distance Run - Men. And let's change the format by using the Format bar. Here you will find some predefined formats like Percentage and Currency, for example.

The first button will display two decimal places. So let's select that one. Now you can see, each of the values has two decimal places. And in many cases numbers were entered using those decimal places. Some were not so we see 0s in those cells. Now we can also adjust the number of decimal places manually from the Format bar. Before we go there, check out the number that appears in cell C4, 56.56. Well, when we go up to our Format bar, we have two buttons one for increasing, the other decreasing the number of decimal places. Let's decrease this down to one.

Click once and notice the number is automatically rounded up. Here in cell C4 where we saw 56.56, we now see 56.6. So that's done for us automatically. Well, we can also choose from other formats using the drop down button that appears on the Format bar. Click this button and from the pop-up menu, you will see some additional options like Date & Time formats, for example. When we click the canvas to close up that menu, we can also access additional formats from the Cells Inspector. Click the Inspector button, make sure the Cells Inspector is selected, and not only will you see the current format, in this case Number with 1 Decimal.

You will also see information you maybe didn't know, such as Thousands Separator. It's turned on. So when we get into larger numbers we'll see commas for the thousands. And negative numbers will appear with a minus sign. We can change that of course. Click the button. Let's say we want negative numbers to appear in red in round brackets. Choose the fourth option. But we can also choose from other formats by clicking the current format Number and choosing from a different format on this pop-up menu. But really what we need is our own Custom format to display Kilometers. Well, with Numbers '09, you can create your own cell formats for displaying numbers with text or date and time values.

Custom can be accessed directly from our Cells Inspector here, but it's also available from the drop down button we saw on the Format bar, or even from the Format menu. Let's choose Custom. Here is where we get to give our Custom format a name. The Name field currently has the default Custom Format 1 in there, if you don't have any Custom formats. And it's selected, so we can type right over it. Let's type in Kilometers. Now the Type, which defaults to Number & Text, is perfect for us. The only other option is Date & Time, so we'll keep it as Number & Text. And now down below we have a field where we can start adding elements. There is one already added for us and that's the Integers representing the actual numbers that will appear. We see a preview over here on the right hand side of what a number might look like with our current format. But we are going to change this.

Let's click right in the field after the Integers element and we know we want one decimal place. So let's add the Decimals element by clicking and dragging it into the field. When you see the plus sign, release, and it gets added. There is an example of what a number might look like. Each of these elements has its own little drop down arrow. We can click that to see a pop-up menu. If you want Decimals to appear as Fractions, you could choose that. But really what we want to do is control the number of decimal places; we can do that by Adding or Removing digits or move directly to Number of Digits and select a number. Let's choose 1.

Now we'll click after that element in the field and we want to add a space. So we'll drag the Spaces element into the field, when we see the plus sign, release. And we'll click after that space. And here is where we want some text. The short form for kilometers is km. Let's type km in lower case. Check out the preview over here. That's perfect. So to save our new Custom format and apply it to all of the selected cells in our table, click OK. When we do, it now appears in our Cells Inspector as Custom. In our table, you can see all of those numbers have been converted to this new format. Whenever you see a plus sign in a cell, it means we are not seeing all of the data.

So in this case we might want to go in between the column headers at the top. In this case if we go between B and C and see the double arrows, we can double click to just stretch out that column to fit the widest entry. We'll do that for each of these and you can see that's perfect. Now the really nice thing about creating a Custom format is it's available for other tables in your spreadsheet. So for example, we can click and drag to select all of the numeric cells in our second table Distance Run - Women.

And now we can apply our Custom format, it can be applied from the Cells Inspector. Or directly from the Format bar, click the dropdown button, you will see that Custom option there as well. So let's choose Kilometers to apply that format to our other table. Again, we see a couple of plus signs where we might want to automatically adjust the column width to display all of those values. One more table, we'll click there. Let's do it this time from our Cells Inspector, click the drop down button, and choose Kilometers.

Let's close the Cells Inspector and we'll click on the canvas to deselect the table. And there is the end result. Of course you can have as many Custom formats as you want. And at any time if you want to remove a Custom format, go to the Format menu where you will see an option for managing Custom Cell Formats. Before you can do that though you will need to select a cell in at least one of tables. So let's go down to our first table Distance Run - Men, we'll select any one cell, go up to the Format menu, go down to Manage Custom Cell Formats, where we'll see our only Custom cell format called Kilometers. When you select it, the minus sign will allow you to remove it. Now when you click OK that cell format is no longer available. Although you will notice the cells that were formatted using it will remain.

So even though Numbers provides us with several number formats, remember you can also create your own custom formats to suit your specific needs.

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This video is part of

Image for Numbers '09 Essential Training
Numbers '09 Essential Training

71 video lessons · 17332 viewers

David Rivers
Author

 
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  1. 1m 59s
    1. Welcome
      1m 12s
    2. Using the exercise files
      47s
  2. 7m 17s
    1. Launching Numbers and exploring templates
      2m 24s
    2. Exploring the user interface
      2m 45s
    3. Customizing the user interface
      2m 8s
  3. 15m 36s
    1. Creating and opening spreadsheets
      1m 12s
    2. Importing spreadsheets
      1m 48s
    3. Saving and exporting spreadsheets
      2m 39s
    4. Working with sheets
      3m 0s
    5. Laying out sheets
      3m 7s
    6. Headers, footers, and page numbering
      3m 50s
  4. 48m 42s
    1. Adding tables
      2m 43s
    2. Modifying tables
      2m 39s
    3. Working with content in table cells
      4m 55s
    4. Using controls
      5m 0s
    5. Working with rows and columns
      4m 59s
    6. Table headers and footers
      5m 24s
    7. Auto-filling table cells
      3m 50s
    8. Working with table cells
      3m 17s
    9. Using table categories
      4m 18s
    10. Reorganizing table data
      3m 7s
    11. Defining reusable tables
      3m 38s
    12. Copying tables
      2m 48s
    13. Using Address Book data
      2m 4s
  5. 14m 4s
    1. Using table styles
      2m 3s
    2. Overriding table styles
      1m 51s
    3. Redefining a table's style
      2m 31s
    4. Copying and pasting table styles
      2m 46s
    5. Creating, renaming, and deleting table styles
      3m 41s
    6. Using the default table style
      1m 12s
  6. 18m 24s
    1. Using formulas
      3m 47s
    2. Using the Formula bar and Formula Editor
      3m 52s
    3. Using cell references
      3m 25s
    4. Using functions
      4m 15s
    5. Using Formula List view
      3m 5s
  7. 32m 48s
    1. Adding a chart
      2m 42s
    2. Creating a mixed chart
      2m 33s
    3. Modifying chart data
      2m 23s
    4. Adding data to a chart from multiple tables
      2m 20s
    5. Changing a chart from one type to another
      2m 19s
    6. Formatting general chart attributes
      4m 56s
    7. Using trend lines and error bars
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a two-axis chart with different value scales
      2m 34s
    9. Formatting 3D charts
      5m 15s
    10. Linking charts to Pages and Keynote
      2m 25s
  8. 32m 56s
    1. Adding, removing, and selecting text
      3m 24s
    2. Formatting text
      4m 11s
    3. Formatting numbers
      6m 53s
    4. Conditional formatting
      3m 28s
    5. Using special characters
      3m 57s
    6. Using hyperlinks
      2m 33s
    7. Checking spelling
      4m 58s
    8. Find and Replace
      3m 32s
  9. 37m 25s
    1. Using text boxes
      5m 9s
    2. Copying text to a text box
      2m 26s
    3. Paragraph formatting
      3m 14s
    4. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 50s
    5. Working with shapes
      4m 29s
    6. Adding and adjusting images
      2m 46s
    7. Masking objects
      3m 50s
    8. Using Instant Alpha
      2m 0s
    9. Inserting media files
      3m 37s
    10. Aligning and layering objects
      6m 4s
  10. 11m 46s
    1. Printing a sheet
      4m 8s
    2. Password-protecting and emailing spreadsheets
      3m 36s
    3. Sharing spreadsheets with iWork.com
      4m 2s
  11. 12m 37s
    1. Designing a template
      5m 26s
    2. Creating initial spreadsheet content
      2m 54s
    3. Creating media placeholders
      2m 33s
    4. Saving a custom template
      1m 44s
  12. 18s
    1. Goodbye
      18s

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