Understanding Number Formatting Codes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 10, 2021)

1

The most frequently used formatting codes are those that affect straight numbers. Excel provides many of them, as shown here:

Symbol Meaning
General Uses the general display format.
# Indicates a single-digit position. The digit is only displayed if there is a digit in that position.
0 Indicates a single-digit position. If there is no digit in the position, a 0 is displayed.
? Same as the 0 symbol, except results in a space being displayed for insignificant 0s on either side of the decimal point.
. (period) The decimal point.
% Percentage. The number is multiplied by 100 (for the display) and the % sign is added.
, (comma) Thousands separator (if surrounded by digit place holders) or a thousands scalar (if the comma follows all the place holders).
E- E+ e- e+ Displays in scientific format.
$ - + / ( ) : space Displays that character
\ Forces display of the following character
* Repeats the next character to fill out the column width.
_ (underscore) Leaves a space the width of the following character.
"text" Displays the text within the quotes.
@ Text place holder.

To understand better what these codes do, take a look at the information in the following table, which shows several common formats and how they affect numbers.

Category Format Value Displayed As
Number #,##0.00 .01 0.01
  .1 0.10
  1234 1,234.00
  -5678 -5,678.00
Percentage 0.00% .01 1.00%
  .1 10.00%
  1.234 123.40%
  -5.678 -567.80%
Scientific 0.00E+00 .01 1.00E-02
  .1 1.00E-01
  1234 1.23E+03
  -5678 -5.68E+03
Currency $#,##0.00_);[Red]($#,##0.00) .01 $0.01
  .1 $0.10
  1234 $1,234.00
  -5678 ($5,678.00)

No matter which format is used to display numbers, the actual accuracy of the number is not affected. Thus, if a number is displayed using two decimal places, it is still maintained internally to 15 decimal places. All calculations are performed using the more accurate internal representation.

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Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is four less than 9?

2021-05-15 23:04:10

AnonymousGlitchExe14

*!(!$#*!*!#@&$_*#$#^#%#@!*!#@#!_^!(#_1&$*!_@!^!#@#@^@#@*!&$_&#$#$!$@*!&#__/__&__\__(!$#%#%#_&!@!(#_4_$!*!.-.-.-.--.-.- Each 2 symbols are a number ( example - @! = 21 <~ which this number is a single letter ) each set of 2 numbers represent a signal letter . The two digit number is in Ancient, Greek - Arminian & Iraq. All blended together to spell out a word. (Each underscore is a space between each word).. Have fun figuring it out.


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