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Moving Custom Formats to Number Formatting Categories

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Moving Custom Formats to Number Formatting Categories.

Neil knows how to create custom formats in Excel. He has created a custom format that displays dates exactly as he wants them displayed and he would like this custom format to show up in the Date category (Number tab of the Format Cells dialog) rather than being left in the Custom category. Neil wonders if there is a way to do this.

The short answer is that no, there is no way to do this. The formats that appear in the non-custom categories are hard-coded by Excel. The only thing you could do to make the application of the custom formats faster (if that is your goal) is to use a macro that applies the format. The following is an example of a macro that applies a custom format to whatever cells are selected:

Sub MyNumberFormat()
    Selection.NumberFormat = "_(* #,##0_);_(* (#,##0);_(* ""-""??_);_(@_)"
End Sub

You can assign the macro to a shortcut key or to a button on a toolbar, thereby making it very easy to apply.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8842) applies to Microsoft Excel 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Moving Custom Formats to Number Formatting Categories.

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