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.

Moving Custom Formats to Number Formatting Categories

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 13, 2014)

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.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Smart Quotes are Incorrectly Replaced

Not able to replace smart quotes as you want? Here are some ways that you can be sure that every smart quote is changed, ...

Discover More

Changing a Macro Description

Part of documenting macros is to provide a good, succinct description of what they do. Changing the description of an ...

Discover More

Setting a Default Date Format

Enter a date into a cell, and Excel allows you to format that date in a variety of ways. Don't see the date format you want? ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Stopping Fractions from Reducing

Enter a fraction into Excel, and you may be surprised that the program reduces the faction to its simplest form. If you want ...

Discover More

Formatting Combo Box Text

If you insert objects, such as a combo box, in your worksheet, you may need a way to modify the font used in the object. The ...

Discover More

Setting Text Attributes

Want to change the attributes of your text (or what Excel refers to as font styles)? Here's how to do it.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.