Data Formats

Anyone who uses a spreadsheet is accustomed to typing in text, numbers, or dates and having the spreadsheet automatically recognize what type of data was entered. Ah, would that it were always so simple! In Numbers, there are more than those three categories of data, as well as different ways of displaying identical data types.

Numbers lets you control two kinds of data formatting. There’s the data type: an entry of 3:02 could be a time, or a duration of 3 hours and 2 minutes. And then there’s the data’s look: you enter 2, but it could be displayed as 2.0 or 200%; or, a date could show as December 10, 2001 or 12/10/01 or the European 10 December 2001.

In this chapter, I show you how to use both kinds of data formatting, and how ...

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