Formatting Numbers

Formatting Excel numbers can improve how your spreadsheet looks. Use the number function in Excel to also better organize content.

Formatting numbers in the Format Cells dialog box

Numbers in Excel can assume many different formats: date, time, percentage, or decimals.

To format the appearance of numbers in a cell:

  • Select a cell or range of cells.
  • Choose Format Cells from the menu bar.

    Format and Cells Menu Selections

    (You could also right-click and choose Format Cells from the shortcut menu.)
  • The Format Cells dialog box opens.
  • Click the Number tab.

    The Number Tab on the Format Cells Dialog Box
  • Click Number in the Category drop-down list.

    The Number Tab on the Format Cells Dialog Box
  • Use the Decimal places scroll bar to select the number of decimal places (e.g., two would display 13.50, three would display 13.500).
  • Click the Use 1000 Separator box if you want commas (1,000) inserted in the number.
  • Use the Negative numbers drop-down list to indicate how numbers less than zero are to be displayed.
  • Click the OK button.