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 June 21, 2018)

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.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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

Removing Confusion When Using AutoCorrect

AutoCorrect is a great help when writing, as it can allow you to create regular blocks of text easily. This can cause ...

Discover More

Inserting Different Dashes

Excel supports several types of dashes. This tip describes those different types and explains how to enter them in a cell.

Discover More

Brackets around Footnote References

When you insert footnotes in a document, Word allows you to modify the formatting applied to the footnote references. ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing the Font Size in Combo Boxes

When you add a combo box to a worksheet, Excel makes some assumptions about the best font size to use in the control. ...

Discover More

Handling Negative Numbers in a Complex Custom Format

Custom formats are great for defining how a specific value in a cell should look. They aren't that great at doing complex ...

Discover More

Sorting ZIP Codes

Sorting ZIP Codes can be painless, provided all the codes are formatted the same. Here's how to do the sorting if you ...

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 8 - 1?

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.