October 29, 2013

Excel Tricks – Make Data Easier to Read with Custom Formatting

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excel200x200If you’re dealing with large numbers in an Excel table, you might want to display them in a smaller, easier to read format. Think $29.4M, instead of $29,400,000. Luckily, Excel offers a way to customize how your data is shown, and you can apply it to entire lists.

Most importantly, this trick only changes how Excel displays the numbers, not their actual values, ensuring your calculation aren’t rounded or skewed. Check out the video below to see how:

To recap:

1. Highlight the cells you’d like to change

2. Select “Format” from the top menu, then “Format Cells”

3. Choose “Custom” from the left menu.

4. Under type, enter your desired formatting

5. After the $ sign, # signs signify digit places

6. To display numbers as three digit figures with one decimal place, followed by the letter M, enter: $###.#,, “M”

7. Check the Sample display to make sure the formatting is correct

8. Hit okay to reformat the selected cells

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