arrow53 Comments
  1. Luke M
    Jan 31 - 2:15 pm

    Okay, that is pretty awesome. Thanks for the tip Kyle & Hui!

  2. Steve Slaman
    Jan 31 - 3:08 pm

    This gets me closer to a solution for reporting financial in (000’s) but I am still left with the rounding problem when adding these numbers. As an example 1,234,567 using 0,###, I get 1,235 which is great but when I sum 1,234,567 and 1,234,567 in this format 1,235 + 1,235 I get 2,469 instead of 2,470. 2,469 is technically correct, but for those who cannot see the full number the sum appears incorrect. Is there a fix for this?

    • Cameron
      Feb 02 - 2:55 pm

      Steve, I often have to display numbers in a similar fashion. I have to ask though, is it wise or even necessary to force the display to ‘2,470’? As long as it is understood that some rounding is going on, it should be acceptable that the numbers won’t add up on screen. In fact displaying these incorrectly (outside of the realm of rounding) seems misleading?

      Often, I will include somewhere on the page, prominently enough to be seen but not obtrusive, “In Thou.” or “In Mils.”

      Alternatively you could make the custom format “#,K” which automatically suggests rounding.

      • Steve Slaman
        Feb 02 - 4:43 pm

        I hear you, but that all numbers tie is absolutely expected at my company. As a former CFO explained to me years ago, if the numbers don’t add up it brings into question the validity of the report (as he chucked my report into the trash). Experience has taught me that he was absolutely right. This can take Sr. Management and Board of Directors off the focus of what the report and presentation is about. So the hours it takes me to tick and tie the reports is well spent (and cheap) compared to the time spent and repercussions up the ladder. I wish we could show the complete numbers in these presentation reports (30 slides per quarter) but it is just too busy on the screen.

        I do put (000’s) at the top left of each report (we report in thousands).

        Thanks for your response!

        • Kyle McGhee
          Feb 02 - 5:40 pm

          Well, there really is no way to solve it other than rounding to the nearest X. (since that is what Excel is doing with the format, rounding to the nearest 1000)
          Here is a formula, for a total, that rounds each number in A1 to A100 to the nearest 1000 and then sums it up.
          =SUMPRODUCT(ROUND(A1:A100,-3))
          It has the same effect has rounding each individually but it leaves the individual items alone so you can keep accurate percentages.

          • Steve Slaman
            Feb 02 - 6:15 pm

            You are right, the fact is we are taking away three places in each number by rounding to thousands and holes are naturally created that must be filled or explained. But it is still great to have the discussion. I learn about how others think and put another tool or two in my Excel toolbox.

            I greatly appreciate this!!

    • Kyle McGhee
      Feb 02 - 4:20 pm

      Steve,

      I have to agree with Cameron. I made a similar post yesterday morning that was lost with the server migration. There is a certain level of displayed inaccuracy that is expected when reporting in 000s or 00s. It is best to leave everything as is, which will provide the most accurate results. As Cameron suggested, stating it is in 000s would be the best approach, and if desired, stating that there may be rounding differences as well. I work in finance/accounting as well and I never round except for check totals (due to the floating point issues).

      Kyle

      • Steve Slaman
        Feb 02 - 6:07 pm

        I really appreciate your response. You are both correct with expected inaccuracies. In my situation, the inaccuracies are best done in plugs. If I have to round one of the larger numbers (say advertising) up or down 1 (1,000) to get the number to balance it is much cleaner and reduces questions. Of course it also takes more time and makes the process manual.

  3. Kyle McGhee
    Jan 31 - 4:38 pm

    Try this:

    =(ROUND(A1,-3)+ROUND(A2,-3))

    • Steve Slaman
      Jan 31 - 5:50 pm

      Thanks for the post. I currently use the round commands (round, roundup and rounddown) but was hoping to get away from that. In a simple or single sum the round command works well but when I start using those rounded sums to get to a bottom line (Profit/Loss) or on a balance sheet, they can veer out of balance from actual final numbers more often than I like to see. It especially gets ugly in % change. I spend a lot of time verifying that everything tics and ties. I’m still going to try this format on my next financial presentation with the rounds to see how well it works.

      Thanks again!!

  4. ward yaternick
    Jan 31 - 5:27 pm

    Another handy technique is to use the text function. For example, to display a date in a format that you want, you can do something like:

    =text( A1, “yyyy-MM-dd” )

    Lots of potential variations there, but it lets you format A1 however you want it, without altering it.

    side note, in some languages, I’ve seen other choices such as “jjjj-MM-dd” so if you care about internationalization, try to make your formatting easy to change by making the format text refer to a single cell.

  5. Jonathan Cohen
    Jan 31 - 6:10 pm

    Try setting precision as diplayed in the advanced options.

    • Steve Slaman
      Jan 31 - 11:10 pm

      Thanks. This is a cool new feature to me, unfortunately in this instance the original number is lost to the rounded number (1,234,567 becomes 1,235,000). Great tip for future reference, I’m already thinking of ways I can use it.

      Thanks again!!

  6. Arti K
    Jan 31 - 10:02 pm

    Excellent tip! Thank you.

  7. SARAN KUMAR
    Feb 04 - 6:14 am

    nice.. post

    Regards,
    Saran
    lostinexcel.blogspot.com

  8. Dhakkanz
    Feb 09 - 7:07 am

    Steve, this is an excellent tip. But with the % sign used to Multiply, the symbol still shows up in the cells, even with usage. Am I missing anything else?

    • Hui...
      Feb 09 - 7:49 am

      @Dhakkanz
      Did you put a Ctrl J in front of the % sign ?

      • Que
        Jun 26 - 1:14 am

        The Ctrl J trick works but not very well if the space is limited.  For example, I want to show 9E-12 as 9 (units is in picoseconds).  If I limit the cell width to less than 10 characters then this trick does not work.

        Any other suggestions if the space is limited? 

  9. bill
    Feb 09 - 3:28 pm

    this is very clever. i like the concept. there is something about the concept that makes me uneasy… i think it is reading this article after having finished the great series of articles on auditing and spreadsheet risk….

  10. bill
    Feb 09 - 3:31 pm

    i recently stumbled on a software company that was addressing the rounding and or formatting creating incorrect sums (visible) issue. their solution seemed hard to implement and has costs but does work quite well. i think a well written vba program would be more flexible (for solving rounding/formatting issues). here is their link:
    http://www.think-cell.com/products/round/overview.shtml

  11. Sugandh
    Apr 17 - 1:05 pm

    I was so happy to see such a custom format. I had not imagined that there would be such a simple solution to the problem. Thanks a lot.
    This post will be very useful to Engineers like me who have to do a lot of electrical design calculations in excel. Very often we have to deal with *1000 or /1000 value of current or voltage For ex. millivolts mV, milliampere mA, milliwatt mW.
    With this formatting trick, I can now remove all the *1000 or /1000 I had to add in my formulas to take care of the multiplier factor.
    🙂
    However,
    I have one new problem using this custom format. My Excel uses German standard way of representing numbers i.e. a “comma” to denote decimal point and a “dot or punkt” to denote thousands (‘1000s) placeholder. Alos, eventually the sheets I make will be read on German Excel only.

    Can someone post a German equivalent to the same formatting?

    Thanks again.

  12. Nima
    Jun 29 - 8:07 am

    Thanks very much.
    The trick was very usefull.
    Problems will be very simple when they are solved!
    Thanks again.  

  13. […] Microsoft – Custom Number Formatting  > Chandoo – Factor 10 number scaling  > ASAP Utilities – Create a bulleted list  > Daily Dose of Excel – Star Rating […]

  14. […] Microsoft – Custom Number Formatting  > Chandoo – Factor 10 number scaling  > ASAP Utilities – Create a bulleted list  > Daily Dose of Excel – Star Rating […]

  15. Ivan
    Jul 18 - 5:50 pm

    Hi Thank you for the tutorial. It is very useful and clear.
    And I have a question related to this format.
    Is it possible to multiply by a different number instead of 10?
    I don’t want to create a new column to do the multiplication.

    Let’s say it will automatically multiply 2 when I enter 19 and will show 38 in the cell.

    Thanks for reading and hope you could help me.

  16. Matt
    Aug 07 - 4:02 pm

    OK so I’m trying to use this to format a cell so that this:

    0.09
    0.07
    -0.14

    Will display as:

    9.0%
    7.0
    (14.0)

    Looking to have the decimal points align but not show the % symbol after the first row. The problem with the above technique is that formating the wrap text will eliminate any placeholders you put in place to help with the alignment formating. Is there any workaround to this?

    • Hui...
      Aug 08 - 12:54 am

      @Matt
      Are the 3 values in the same cell?
      If so I doubt you can do what you want

  17. Matt
    Aug 08 - 1:05 am

    Different cells, just gave 3 as an example. Effectively the cell would multiply by 100 but still give the spacing as if a % were there, ie putting a _% effect at the end of the cell

    • Hui...
      Aug 08 - 4:41 am

      @Matt

      If I use the format
      #,#Ctrl J%
      I get:
      9
      7
      -14

      You have to enable Word Wrap in those cells
      and then adjust the width accordingly

  18. Custom cell view / value
    Aug 11 - 11:02 am

    […] Hi, You can do this with custom number formatting. There are limits to what you can do with it, but for your specific example, a format like this might work: 0000" / (4837)" To learn more about custom number formatting see: Create or delete a custom number format – Excel – Office.com Excel Custom Formats: Numbers/Text Formats in Excel Spreadsheets Custom Number Formats (Multiply & Divide by any Power of 10) | Chandoo.org – Learn Microsoft Exc… […]

  19. Suzie
    Aug 20 - 9:56 pm

    okay idk what i did wrong, maybe my excel is being stupid but its not working 🙁

    i originally have 52.6625 (it’s in thousands) so it’s really 52,662.50.

    if I put in the *1000 formatting above i get this result:

    52,662.5%%%

    if I try it without the carrots i get:

    52,662.5CtrlJ%%%

    Also if I go back into the custom formatting, it changed it to:
    #,###.#%%%

    I dont know why it put a “/” in between the Ctrl either. Any suggestions as to what I’m doing wrong??

    Thanks!

  20. Suzie
    Aug 20 - 10:11 pm

    nvm! im dumb and realized you don’t type the control j but actually hit control+j

  21. mathew varghese
    Sep 13 - 2:46 am

    Dear Hui,
    I have been reading your posts with awe. Thanks to Chandoos’s work. I need your help. How do I custom format a number to display in lakhs as used in India…..123456789.00 as 12,34,56,789.00 (twelve crores thirty four lakhs fifty six thousand seven hundred eighty nine…..I understand excel will show numbers in thousands only….

    Thanks

  22. Harish
    Feb 14 - 2:25 pm
  23. Caron
    Apr 21 - 9:36 am

    Thanks for this tip. I have two questions:
    1. I need to divide numbers by 1000 but leave no decimals.
    At the moment the format I’m using from your site is # ##0.###.
    However, this is leaving me with a result with a . on the end.
    i.e 1000 becomes 1. instead of just 1 with no point on the end.

    2. My spreadsheets has a number of pivot tables representing a sheet that automatically updates from the accounting database.
    So lots of ways of analyzing sales.
    Is there a way I can set the format once for a value instead of having to format on every sheet?

    All help much appreciated

  24. Brian
    May 08 - 11:16 pm

    Unfortunately it seems this work-around has now been semi-disabled in Excel 2010.

    When you first enter the number format, the application accepts it and everything works fine. But if you save the file and re-open it: excel has modified the number format, and it breaks the functionality.

    Specifically: all the formats that make use of a comma AND percentage sign in the same (sub)-format, excel now DELETES all trailing commas in the saved custom-number-format string. Hence when you reopen the file all formats like “mA” or “mV” are now displayed 1000x their actual value.

    Example:
    Try to apply: 0.0,”mV”%%%
    Excel will strip the comma and save it as: 0.0″mV”%%%
    (which obviously won’t produce the desired effect)

    Funny enough, excel WILL apply the correct number format TEMPORARILY to the open document: but if you re-open the file, POOF! all number formats wrecked.

    (Perhaps older versions always saved the number format wrongly too, and they have changed the way number formats are refreshed upon opening the file. Or they could have purposely disabled this – who knows)

    So sad. This was an almost perfect work-around.
    I would be interested which versions of Excel this still works in.

  25. James
    May 12 - 6:37 am

    Hi,

    Is there a way to automatically include the 2 digit year into a custom format for invoice numbering …?
    Is there a trick to combine functions (such as today() or year()..) in a given custom format ?
    Thanks

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    May 27 - 6:54 pm

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    May 27 - 6:54 pm

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  28. Roshan
    Jul 24 - 7:47 am

    Hi,

    Is there a way to add 100 to only the number format? I have a graph which shows the diff from 100, e.g. 89 is -ve 11 from 100 and 139 is +ve 39. I want my graph to calculate based on -11 & 39 but shows 89 & 139. I can do this for the positive number using the format #,##100 but it shows -111 instead of 89 for the negative.

    Not sure if I was very clear in what I was looking for, but any help is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Roshan

    • Roshan
      Jul 24 - 7:48 am

      just to update that, I need only the data labels for the graph to show 89 & 139

  29. Deepak vats (Chandigarh)
    Dec 16 - 4:33 am

    dear Sir

    Thanks

  30. Deepak vats (Chandigarh)
    Dec 16 - 4:48 am

    Dear Sir
    I read your article. I want to display absolute figures in lacs –
    /1000000

    Put 0.######,,,%% in Custom Number formatting

    want Rs. 1662052 as 16.62
    but getting as 1.6222052%%
    Trying Ctrl+J as madam kyle suggested but %% are reflecting on excel screen and not getting hided so cannot send report to Top Management. Kindly assist. I think I am making a mistake in Ctrl+J step.

    Thanks a lot in advance.
    warm regards,
    Deepak Vats

  31. Khalid NGO
    Jan 23 - 11:15 am

    @Hui
    Sir great work, you helped me alot.
    Thanks for sharing wonderful tricks.

    @Deepak
    First make your cell vertical alignment to top + wrap text
    then use this in custom format:
    #,##0.00,,, %%
    Press Ctrl+J before %

    It will looks like:
    #,##0.00,,,
    %%

    and you are done.
    Regards,

  32. VSM
    Feb 03 - 7:12 am

    Hi Guys,

    I have created custom format ##,##0.0,,, CTRL + J %% to display
    10000 as 0.1
    100000 as 1.0
    1000000 as 10.0
    10000000 as 100.0
    100000000 as 1,000.0
    so forth.

    The problem i am facing is that once i applied this format , save and close the workbook. the next time i open it the format get change like for 100000 it shows me 1.0 before closing the workbook ans 10.0 when i open it again.
    please advice

    VSM

    • VSM
      Feb 03 - 9:01 am

      Any help guys!

      VSM

      • VSM
        Feb 03 - 9:03 am

        How can i attached the images here

  33. Rachel
    Apr 06 - 2:27 pm

    I am trying to utilize this technique in order to calculate basis points. Basis points multiple % by 10,000 in order to find their value. For example, 1% would be 100 bps. I have a % field that calculates the bps % and then used the formatting of #,#.#%% to try and arrive at the formatting for bps. However, since the field is linked to a percentage, it is formatting as 100%%. I need the percentages to be removed and a “bps” to be replaced.

    • Hui...
      Apr 06 - 2:48 pm

      @Rachel

      I don’t believe that what you want can be done in 1 cell
      You may have to use a helper column to assist you

      • Rachel
        Apr 06 - 3:34 pm

        Hi Hui – I don’t have the option to create another field as I am already using a calculated field to arrive at %. To find the bps, I calculated MU% in a calculated field. I then pulled in the MU% field again and found the “Difference from” to find the % change. I then formatted the % change to x10,000 but it’s not showing up correctly.

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