Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 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: Notation for Thousands and Millions.

Notation for Thousands and Millions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 23, 2013)

Jim wonders how he can get Excel to automatically display numbers using "k" for thousands and "m" for millions. As an example, if a cell contains the value $470,000 he would like it displayed as $470k; if it contains the value $1,107,432 he would like it displayed as $1.1m.

One obvious method is to create a formula that will display the information as desired. The following formula will take into account the magnitude of the number in cell B2 and then provide a formatted text string appropriate to that magnitude:

=IF(B2 < 1000,B2,IF(B2 < 1000000,
"$" & ROUND(B2/1000,1) & "k",
"$" & ROUND(B2/1000000,1) & "m"))

Remember that this is a single formula and should be entered entirely on one line. The drawback with such an approach, of course, is that the formula takes up space within your worksheet. To get around this you could, instead, create a custom format that will simply affect the display of the number in the cell.

To create a custom format if you are using a version of Excel prior to Excel 2007, choose Cells from the Format menu, display the Number tab, and click Custom at the left side of the dialog box. Here's the custom format you should create in the dialog box:

[>1000000]$#.0,,"m";[>1000]$#,"k";$#,##0

This format will display both millions and thousands using the desired notation. If the number is below a thousand then it will be displayed without any special notation. As appropriate, values are rounded to one decimal place.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3528) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Notation for Thousands and Millions.

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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