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Special Edition Using Microsoft® Office XP by Woody Leonhard, Ed Bott

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Changing Formatting for a Cell or Range

In general, as noted previously, Excel stores exactly what you type in a cell. You have tremendous control over how that data appears, however. Number and date formats, for example, give you precise control over commas, decimal points, and whether months and days are spelled out or abbreviated. And if you can't find the precise format you're looking for, Excel lets you create your own custom format.

Setting Number Formats

How should Excel display the contents of a cell? You have dozens of choices, all neatly organized by category on the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box. To specify exactly how you want the contents of a cell or range to appear, follow these steps:

  1. Click the cell you want to format, ...

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