Changing Data Formatting in MS Excel

In this article, learn how to format the data and data styles in MS Excel 2010.

Styles Data

That the cell contains a string value entered by you or the result of a formula, you assign a style to data of this cell by defining what we call the format of the cell that determines how the value will be represented by the spreadsheet. To define the format of a cell, simply select the cell by clicking it, then choose Format menu> Cells and select the Number tab (or Numbers with Calc).Excel and Calc offer both options very similar. The main formats are classics Number, Percent, Currency, Date, Time, Scientific, Fraction, and text, but your spreadsheet can suggest others.

Each cell format (or style of data) often has sub-formats, also having its own characteristics. You're not limited to predefined formats: most spreadsheets allow you to create custom formats. It is possible to assign simultaneously the same style to multiple cells, contiguous or not. To do this, simply select the area, then apply the new format.

Just as the output of a formula is not the formula itself, the application of a data format can provide (and generally provides) a different view of the actual content of the cell. Again, only the formula bar shows the exact contents of a cell.

Enter eg literally "€ 243.00" in a cell, because this column this aspect may lead to the generation of an error if the column contains only numbers and is set to Currency format with currency symbol. If an amount is calculated on this column, the result is false because the seizure will be interpreted as text and not taken into account in the sum. It is wrong as often as difficult to find, nothing seems abnormal spreadsheet: a correct entry would be "243", "243.0" or "243.003".

Changing the row height and column width

With Excel, the cells of a new worksheet using default Standard format. Excel automatically adjusts the column width to display the numbers entered. Except for date formats and some custom sizes, if you apply a digital format to a given cell, such Monetary two decimal places Excel will expand the cell to adapt to the format selected by rounding decimals if necessary, that does not Calc.
If the width of the cell does not display a number based on the new format, it displays number signs (###). To see the value contained in the cell, you need to widen the column.

Enlargement of a column

Several methods are available:

  • You can place the mouse cursor in the column headers, on the line that separates the relevant column of the next. The pointer changes to an arrow (unless you have changed the appearance of the cursor) in a vertical line crossing a horizontal double-headed arrow. Click and drag the divider line to the right, then release the mouse button. If the value does not appear, repeat. Note that you can do the same to the left to reduce the width of a column.

  • Click the column header on the letter to select the column, then choose Format menu -> Column. You can then choose Width and enter a width explicitly, or choose AutoFit (Excel) or Optimal Width (with Calc) so that the width of the column adjusts to the optimum value.

  • Of course, you can use this solution on select multiple columns to expand simultaneously.

    Increase line height

  • It is rarely necessary because usually need the text that needs to span multiple lines the same line. The process is strictly analogous
    Place the mouse cursor in the column of line numbers on the line that separates the relevant line from the next. The pointer changes to an arrow (unless you have changed the appearance of the cursor) in a horizontal double-headed arrow marked with a vertical. Click and drag the divider line down, then release the mouse button. If the value does not appear, repeat. Note that you can make yourself up if necessary to reduce the height of a line.

  • Click in the header line on its number to select the line, then choose Format menu -> Column. You can then select and enter height explicitly, or choose AutoFit (Excel) or maximum height (with Calc) so that the line height adjusts to the optimum value.

  • You can also use this solution on a multiple selection of lines to simultaneously adjust their height.


    Excel allows you to add a comment (sometimes called annotations) to a cell to provide additional information that we do not want (or that we can not) see in the spreadsheet.

    To add a comment to a cell, select the cell or range of cells to nominate and select Insert-> Comment. You can also click on the cell with the mouse right button and choose Insert Comment.

    After inserting a comment, a red triangle in the upper right indicates that the cell has a comment and prompts the user to fly into the cell with the mouse to see its content.

    You can customize the format of this commentary, although the process is only poorly explained in the documentation:

  • Put yourself on the cell and commented right click on the Edit comment.

  • Position the cursor in the bottom right corner of the commentary, to show the small double arrow inclined, then right click.

  • Select Format commentary.

  • You can now access a range of settings much richer, allowing in particular to choose the background color, size and color of text, lines, design automation, etc.. It is even possible to insert a picture, which can be very interesting for a list of names, a list of locations, an inventory of objects or parts .


    Guest Author: Jeferson12 Jul 2012

    Improved PivotTables:PivotTables are now easier to use! Key irtpovemenms include:1. Performance Enhancements. In Excel 2010, multi-threading helps speed up data retrieval, sorting, and filtering in PivotTables.2. PivotTable Labels. It is now possible to fill down labels in a PivotTable.3. You can also repeat labels in PivotTables to display item captions of nested fields in all rows and columns.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: