If you are like many people, the default number format in Excel (General) is what you have been trained to expect.
The purpose of this post is to teach you how to change the default number format in Excel. It will also offer alternative formats that may be more appropriate for your needs. You may want a currency or date formatting option, for example.
How can you change the default number format in Excel?
To change the default number format in Excel:
- Access Microsoft Excel by clicking here
- Click on “File” -> “Options” on the home tab. You will see 5 tabs along the top of the window.
- The bottom left tab says “Number Format” and will have a setting next to it that says something like “$#,##0.00” or “€1,234.56”. The format you desire can be adjusted here.
- Make the change. For example, type a bunch of numbers into a cell and hit “enter” in that cell.
- To do this, click on the “Number Format” tab and scroll down until you see a place where there are two horizontal lines before and after the last number. Here you should enter the number of decimals and the format.
For example: To change the default number format in excel, you need to make a change to your “Number Format” setting. Change it from “$#,##0.00″/$1,234.56 to “0.00” and save your change. type your number of decimals in the format box and press “Enter”. The #0 is then displayed before the numbers.
- Your new number format will match the worksheet and show decimal places but not cents.
- Changing the default number format in Excel
The first thing you do is get to the Format Cells dialog box. Select any cell and
- Open the “Home” tab.
- Then click on the “Number” group drop-down menu and
- Select “Currency” or any other appropriate category.
- You will see the “Currency” dialog box.
- You may want to choose another category and experiment with all the different number formats that Excel offers.
- When you change the default number format in Excel,
- you can also control how many decimal places are displayed and how numbers are rounded. So, for example, you might want to round a number up or down or round to 2 decimal places instead of 3.
That’s all there is to it. You now know how to change the default number format in Excel and have a better understanding of the different formatting options available. You will also feel confident changing the Date formatting in Excel if you need to.
Excel also has the option to use a primary number format: Millions.
- Take the cursor to the Options menu and click on “Number Format”.
- This will take you to more options, such as currency, percentage, and the like. But if you scroll down to “Decimal Places” on this dialog box you should see a setting called “10-digits”.
- If you click on this and change it to “9”, not only will the default number format change to Millions but so will all your other number formats.
- Click the “Save” button.
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After learning how to change the Excel default number format, you may wonder what it is. General is the answer. The comma in a cell will serve as a thousand separator, and two decimal places will be displayed if no other formatting options are specified.
So if the number 12345 is entered in a cell and nothing else, it will look like 123.45 when displayed. If you have the thousands separator turned on, it will look like 1,234.5 but still with two decimal places and no thousands separator.
Changing the number format in Excel is a relatively simple process if you remember these two rules:
In the Format Cells dialogue box,
- Select “Number” –> “Currency” or whatever else you want.
- It will default to what it is when you click OK. You should also see a drop-down menu with a variety of formats.
- Click on one and then click OK.
Your formatting options should change to what they are now.
You can experiment with the number format in Excel and see what each one does. A drop-down arrow will show up next to each format category. If you select that, additional options will appear.
For example, if you go to “Number” –> “Percent” and click on the arrow next to it, you will get a long list of different percentages that you can apply to your data.
If you do a search on this, you will find tons of posts on how to change the default number format in Excel.
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It’s easy to change the number format in Excel so you can have a different set of numbers. You should know that there are many ways to do this and it will depend on what type of numbering system you want and how long your list is. You can also program Excel to automatically change the number format when you type something in.
However, it’s not always easy to find out how to do this, so we have written this article to show you how to easily change the number format in Excel as well as how to use conditional formatting for similar things.