Professor Excel
Return Number Format Codes in Excel

Return Number Format Codes in Excel – 4 Ways to Get the Formatting Code from a Cell

Excel is a great software. It’s easy to use (at least the basic functions…) and very flexible. Unfortunately, coming with the flexibility, users tend to misuse the options and disobey certain basic rules. One thing I’ve seen multiple times is to transport important information in the formatting of a cell. It might be the background color, font color or strike-through. In this article, we’ll talk about something related: Return number format codes.

Problem: Information is stored in the number format code of the Excel cell, for example the currency "USD" or "EUR".

Problem: Information is stored in the number format code of the Excel cell, for example the currency “USD” or “EUR”.

Let’s assume the following example. You receive a table containing prices with two columns. The first column contains the name of the item, for example “Product A”. The second column contains the respective prices. The problem is that instead of having one common currency, the currency information is only given in the number format code. Learn four methods in this article of how to return number format codes in Excel.

Please note: If you want to know how to use custom number format codes, please refer to this article. On this page we only explore how to return number format codes.

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custom, number, format, excel

Custom Number Formats: Big Guide, Popular Codes and a Free Download

Excel provides many default number formats. But often, these formats are not enough. For example:

Example: The default and a modifyed number format.

  • You want to display number in thousands or millions?
  • Or have a thousands separator for percentage values?
  • Or show a plus sign for positive values?

In such case, you need to create a custom number format. In this article, you learn everything you need to know. For making it easier for you, please feel free to download the example Excel file or the handy custom format card for printing it out.

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thousands, decimal, separator, change, excel, powerpoint, thinkcell

Change Thousands & Decimal Separators in Excel, PowerPoint and ThinkCell

Sometimes you don’t want the comma “,” as a thousands separator, but rather a full stop “.”. Or you don’t want the full stop as the decimal separator. Changing these two separators in Office is easy: You can either do it system-wide or override the system settings.

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excel, highlight, negative, color, red, minus

Easily Highlight Negative Values in Red Color in Excel

A good Excel table provides a quick overview of the most important facts and figures. One way of highlighting important numbers is by using colors. For example, values below zero should stand out.

force, cell, format, formatting, text, number

Force Any Cell to Your Desired Format in Excel

You are changing the cell format, for example from “text” to “number” and nothing happens? Or the other way around, you want to enter a phone number but Excel automatically converts it to a number? Unfortunately, Excel is very unpredictable when it comes to text/number formatting. Here is what you should do in order to force Excel to accept your desired format.
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conditional, formatting, excel, background, color, icon, sets

Conditional Formatting in Excel: Background Color and Icon Sets

The “Conditional Formatting” button is hidden in the middle of the Home ribbon in Excel. Nonetheless, Conditional Formatting offers many options for visualizing your data. As the name already says, Excel can format your table depending on one or more conditions.

How to Use Conditional Formatting With Formulas in Excel

One advanced scenario of Conditional Formatting is to use formulas to determine the format. Let’s say, you want to change the background color of cell A if cell B has a certain value.