If you want to display numbers as monetary values, you must format those numbers as currency. To do this, you apply either the Currency or Accounting number format to the cells that you want to format. The number formatting options are available on the Home tab, in the Number group.
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What's the difference between the Currency and Accounting formats?
Both the Currency and Accounting formats are used to display monetary values. The difference between the two formats is explained in the following table.
When you apply the Currency format to a number, the currency symbol appears right next to the first digit in the cell. You can specify the number of decimal places that you want to use, whether you want to use a thousands separator, and how you want to display negative numbers.
Tip To quickly apply the Currency format, select the cell or range of cells that you want to format, and then press CTRL+SHIFT+$.
Like the Currency format, the Accounting format is used for monetary values. However, this format aligns the currency symbols and decimal points of numbers in a column. In addition, the Accounting format displays zeros as dashes and negative numbers in parentheses. Like the Currency format, you can specify how many decimal places you want and whether to use a thousands separator. However, you cannot change the default display of negative numbers unless you create a custom number format.
Tip To quickly apply the Accounting format, select the cell or range of cells that you want to format. On the Home tab, in the Number group, click Accounting Number Format . If you want to show a currency symbol other than the default, click the arrow next to the Accounting Number Format button and then select another currency symbol.
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Display numbers as currency
As mentioned earlier, you can quickly display a number with the default currency symbol by selecting the cell or range of cells, and then clicking Accounting Number Format in the Number group on the Home tab. (If you want to apply the Currency format instead, select the cells, and press CTRL+SHIFT+$.)
If you want more control over either format, or you want to change other aspects of formatting for your selection, you can follow these steps.
Select the cells you want to format
On the Home tab, click the Dialog Box Launcher next to Number.
Tip You can also press CTRL+1 to open the Format Cells dialog box.
In the Format Cells dialog box, in the Category list, click Currency or Accounting.
In the Symbol box, click the currency symbol that you want.
Note If you want to display a monetary value without a currency symbol, you can click None.
In the Decimal places box, enter the number of decimal places that you want for the number. For example, to display $138,691 instead of $138,690.63 in the cell, enter 0 in the Decimal places box.
As you make changes, watch the number in the Sample box. It shows you how changing the decimal places will affect the display of a number.
In the Negative numbers box, select the display style you want to use for negative numbers. If you don't like the existing options for displaying negative numbers, you can create your own number format. For more information about creating custom formats, see Create or delete a custom number format.
Note The Negative numbers box is not available for the Accounting number format. That's because it is standard accounting practice to always show negative numbers in parentheses.
To close the Format Cells dialog box, click OK.
If Excel displays ##### in a cell after you apply currency formatting to your data, the cell probably isn't wide enough to display the data. To expand the column width, double-click the right boundary of the column that contains the cells with the ##### error. This automatically resizes the column to fit the number. You can also drag the right boundary until the columns are the size that you want.
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Remove currency formatting
If you want to remove the currency formatting, you can follow these steps to reset the number format.
- Select the cells that have currency formatting applied to them.
- On the Home tab, in the Number group, click General.
Cells that are formatted with the General format do not have a specific number format.
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Create a workbook template with specific currency formatting settings
If you often use currency formatting in your workbooks, you can save time by creating a workbook that includes specific currency formatting settings, and then saving that workbook as a template (template: A workbook that you create and use as the basis for other similar workbooks. You can create templates for workbooks and worksheets. The default template for workbooks is called Book.xlt. The default template for worksheets is called Sheet.xlt.). You can then use this template to create other workbooks.
Create the template
- Create a new workbook.
- Select the worksheet or worksheets for which you want to change the default number formatting.
How to select worksheets
Tip When multiple worksheets are selected, [Group] appears in the title bar at the top of the worksheet. To cancel a selection of multiple worksheets in a workbook, click any unselected worksheet. If no unselected sheet is visible, right-click the tab of a selected sheet, and then click Ungroup Sheets on the shortcut menu.
- Select the specific cells or columns you want to format, and then apply currency formatting to them.
- Make any other customizations you like to the workbook.
- Click the File tab.
- Click Save As.
- In the File name box, type the name that you want to use for the template.
- In the Save as type box, click Excel Template, or click Excel Macro-Enabled Template if the workbook contains macros that you want to make available in the template.
- Click Save.
- Close the template.
Create a new workbook based on the template
- Click the File tab.
- Click New.
- Click My Templates.
- In the New dialog box, double-click the template you just created.
Excel creates a new workbook that is based on your template.
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