0017 Excel Shortcuts: How to Change Number Formats

I wouldn’t show this as a party trick at your next soirĂ©e, but I would use this when creating a quick back-of-the-napkin spreadsheet.

In this video, I will teach you how to quickly format your numbers 7 different ways without touching the mouse.

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Full Video Transcript:

Don’t you hate it when you’re typing out a list of numbers and some appear with a decimal, some with no decimal, some with a comma, some with a currency symbol, and all you wanted is to get them all to look the same?

This video is for you because I’m going to teach you exactly how to format your numbers quickly, efficiently, and correctly.

In the previous video, I showed you how to format your spreadsheet precisely and comprehensively. There’s actually a link in the description below, in case you missed it.

In contrast, this video shows you how to get the most common formats really quickly, for those back-of-the-napkin type calculations that you just need more quickly.

So here is a list of all of the quick formatting shortcuts. The trick to all of this is CTRL + SHIFT + Something, and that something is going to be on that entire, basically, half of that row on the keyboard on the top, starting with that Grave symbol, which you may not have used ever before, all the way through 1 through 6.

So if you do CTRL + SHIFT and one of those, you’ll get the format that corresponds to it. So CTRL + SHIFT + ` (Grave) will get you general. G, grave, general. Get it? It’s all related. Okay.

Exclamation point is because you’re going to do the number, right? Think of it as like the decimal point that appears when you do it. The @ is like, “What time is the party at?” So I want to see the time. That’s how that’s working.

The hashtag here, the little date thing, I always think of, you know, being stranded on a deserted island and counting down the days with little tick marks. So that makes me think of the day format.

Currency is straightforward because it’s a dollar sign. Percentage is a percentage. This one is a little caret, or caret, depending on how you want to pronounce it, and it’s going to be raising the scientific roof because basically it’s scientific notation. So the numbers are too big or too small, actually, and you need to show it in a scientific format.

That’s essentially it, and it’s the same exact shortcut for the Mac. It’s still CTRL + SHIFT, and then that other additional number or the Grave symbol on the left of the 1.

Pull up a chair because there’s a bunch of shortcuts to work through here, right? We’ve got the general. So you want to make the entire left section over here match the format on the right. And all you have to do is turn these cells into the correct format, CTRL + SHIFT + ` (Grave), and it will go ahead and match it to that spot.

Go through each of these using the shortcut that we talked about. There might be some subliminal messaging here, which is not so subliminal anymore because I talked about it, but you get the idea. Go through each of these, and then go through the challenge one where every single one of these should match in a very precise way. And really just practice as much as you need to until you get it memorized.

Don’t forget to visit excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching. See you next time. And tonight, before putting your kids to sleep, instead of reading them a bedtime story, share the Excel love. Trust me. Knocks them right out.

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