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Numbers for iOS (iPad): Format cells to display different types of data

Format cells to display different types of data

You can format a table cell with a data type that determines how the data in the cell appears, and how the data is recognized by functions that refer to that cell.

You can also choose how many decimal places appear in cells that contain numbers, currency units, or percentage values, even if the exact value entered in the cell is more precise than what you want to show. The actual value entered is always used in calculations, regardless of how many decimal places appear in the cell, except where a formula refers to text in a cell, in which case the displayed value is used in the calculation.

You can change a cell’s format even if you already typed content in the cell. For example, if you have a table that shows your monthly budget, you can automatically add a dollar sign ($) to all cells by formatting them as currency.

You can also format cell data as you type by choosing the appropriate keyboard. For more information, go to Keyboard for entering numerical values, Keyboards for entering time-related data, Keyboards for entering text, and Keyboards for entering formulas and functions.

Numbers

By default, cells formatted as numbers display as many decimal places as you type in them. You can change this setting so cells formatted as numbers display the same number of decimal places.

Changes to decimal settings apply to both numbers and percentages. For example, if you change a cell with a number into a percentage, the number of decimal places displayed doesn’t change.

  1. Select a cell or a range of cells, tap Format button, then tap Format.

  2. Tap Info button to the right of Number, then tap a style of number formatting under Number Options.

Currency (units of monetary value)

By default, cells formatted as currency display two decimal places. You can change this setting so cells display as many decimal places as you type in them, or so all cells display the same number of decimal places.

  1. Select a cell or a range of cells, tap Format button, then tap Format.

  2. Tap Info button to the right of Currency.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Display as many decimal places as you type in each cell: Tap the Decimals down arrow until you reach the Auto setting.

    • Increase or decrease the set number of decimal places displayed: Tap the Decimals arrows.

  4. To show the thousands separator, turn on Separator.

  5. To display negative values within parentheses, turn on Accounting Style. Or tap a red or black option to select a different display style.

  6. To select a currency symbol, tap Currency, then tap the symbol you want.

Percentages

By default, cells formatted as a percentage display as many decimal places as you type in them. You can change this setting so all cells display the same number of decimal places.

Changes to decimal settings apply to both percentages and numbers in a selected range of cells. For example, if you change the format of a cell from a percentage to a decimal, the number of decimal places displayed doesn’t change.

  1. Select a cell or a range of cells, tap Format button, then tap Format.

  2. Tap Info button to the right of Percentage.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • Display as many decimal places as you type in each cell: Tap the Decimals down arrow until you reach the Auto setting.

    • Increase or decrease the set number of decimal places displayed: Tap the Decimals arrows.

  4. To show the thousands separator, turn on Separator.

  5. To select how negative values are displayed, tap a red or black option.

If you format a cell that already contains a value, the value is assumed to be a decimal, and it’s converted into a percentage. For example, 3 becomes 300%.

If a percentage value is used in a formula, its decimal number version is used. For example, a value that displays as 3% is used as 0.03 in a formula.

Date and time

  1. Select a cell or a range of cells, tap Format button, then tap Format.

  2. Tap Info button to the right of Date & Time.

  3. Tap the options that match the display formats you want for date and time. If you tap None below Date or Time, no date or time is displayed in the cell, even if a date or time was entered and used in calculations.

    The date and time formats that are available depend on the International settings you’ve selected in your device’s Settings.

If you don’t enter both a date and a time, Numbers adds a default value for you. For example, if you type “1:15 PM,” Numbers adds today’s date by default.

Durations (units of time)

By default, cells containing duration data are automatically formatted to display all the time units you enter. You can change this setting so duration cells display only certain units of time (for example, only hours, not minutes, seconds, or milliseconds), even if more precise duration values have been entered in the cell. The more precise values are still used in formulas that make calculations based on units of time.

  1. Select a cell or a range of cells, tap Format button, then tap Format.

  2. Tap Info button to the right of Duration.

  3. To show or hide time unit labels, tap to select an option below Format:

    • None: Hides all time unit labels.

    • Short: Displays time unit labels as abbreviations—for example, “m” for minutes.

    • Long: Displays time unit labels fully spelled out.

  4. To make all duration cells display the same kinds of units, turn off Automatic Units.

    A range selector appears.

    Duration control ranging from weeks to milliseconds
  5. Drag the left or right end of the duration range selector to encompass the scope of the time duration you want to use, from weeks (Wk) to milliseconds (Ms).

If you change the duration format after you enter data in the cells, the data automatically adjusts to the new duration format you set.

Format cells automatically

By default, Numbers formats table cells automatically.

If you change the data format for a cell, you can always revert to the automatic format.

Select a cell or a range of cells, tap Format button, tap Format, then tap Automatic.

Last Modified: Oct 15, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Oct 15, 2014
  • Article: PH3373
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