Carpe diem: Excel - Formatting Cells for Time, Date, Money, Decimals

Excel – Formatting cells for time, date, money, numbers and text

Cells can be formatted to display your data exactly the way you want it to look.  If you are going to use formulas to do any calculations, you must format your cells for numbers rather than text.  You can enter numbers in text cells but they cannot be used in formulas so only worry about this if you use formulas.

Other formatting can be helpful (time, date, money) as cells may display what you type in a different format than the way you enter it.  Confusing?  Example:  I enter the date 10/15/10 and it appears in the cell as 10-15-2010.  No matter how many times I retry, it will always change to latter display.  This is true for time and decimals as well.  Let’s learn how to control Excel rather than it controlling us!

We will change the cell formatting in this sample worksheet.


Highlight the Date Column, click on the Format icon in Cell section of the Home Tab and click on Format Cells.  Inside tip: Highlight the Date Column and put your cursor in that column, click right mouse button and a window will appear and you can click on Format Cells.  Same destination, different route.


Click on Number Tab, Date, scroll until you find the format you want, click on it and then click on OK.


Use the same steps to format Time and Money.

Format the Column Name as text and the Column Number Purchased as a number with no decimals.

There are many more options but these are the basics for formatting cells to show data in the format you choose.

Here is my sample worksheet formatted.

       Questions, corrections or comments; Click Excel Forum.

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