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Excel 2010 Home Tab
ClipboardFontAlignment – Number – Styles – Cells – Editing


In this tutorial, you will learn how to format numbers by using the Number group in the Home tab.

Three of the most common types of number formatting are currency, comma and percentage.

 I encourage you to recreate the spreadsheet, shown above, so you can follow along with the changes and formatting we will be doing.

Let's start with currency by selecting cell A3. There is more than one way to apply currency formatting to a cell. In A3, we will select the Accounting Number Format button which is currently showing a dollar sign.

You can see the format change in the image to the left. The currency symbol (dollar sign) is to the far left of the cell and a decimal has been added with two decimal places.


Notice there is a drop-down arrow to the right of the Accounting Number Format button (as shown in the image to the right). When you select it, you will have access to the most commonly used currencies. For additional currency options, select More Accounting Formats.

The Format Cells dialog box will open (as shown in the image to the left) and you can select the Symbol drop-down box for an entire list of different currencies.

Click on your desired currency and then select OK.

Now select cell A4. To apply currency formatting, we are going to select the Number Format drop-down box. As shown in the image to the right, we have several formats to choose from, but we are going to focus on Currency and Accounting. These two formats look identical in this menu, so let’s review the difference. We actually have the Accounting format showing in cell A3, so we will now select Currency from the menu.

 You will see the currency symbol in A4 sits up against the number when choosing Currency format and the currency symbol in A3 sits to the far left of the cell when selecting the Account format.

For practice, select cell A5 and choose whichever number formatting you prefer. 

Next, let’s review the Comma formatting in column B. Select cell B3 and then click on the Comma Style button in the Number group of the Home tab.

Notice that cell B3 now has a comma, decimal and two decimal places. This is very similar to the currency formatting minus the currency symbol.

Now select cell B4, and click on the Number Format drop-down box like we did previously. At the very bottom of the menu, select More Number Formats.

The Format Cells dialog box will open (as shown in the image to the left). From the Category menu, select Number. We are going to change our Decimal places to 0 and check the box for Use 1000 Separator – this will add our comma.

Select OK when you have finished with your selections.

As you can see in the image to the right, we have formatted cell B4 to include a comma.


Let's review the Increase Decimal and Decrease Decimal buttons now by first selecting B5. We want to add two decimals to this number, so we will select Increase Decimal two times. For practice, select the Decrease Decimal button as well, but in the end we will have two decimal places as shown in the image below.

As you can see the decimal with two decimal places are added. Select the Comma Style button to add a comma.

We will now review the percentage formatting by clicking on cell C3. We currently have the number 10 in this cell and are intentions are to change it to 10%. While in cell C3 select the Percent Style button.


As shown in the figure to the left, it appears we have 1000%.

Keep in mind that Excel treats the number one as 100%, so anything below number one will be less than 100% and anything more than one is more than 100%.

Select cell C4 and type in the number 1, and then select the Percent Style button. As shown in the image to the right, the number is now 100%.

To get our 10% in Excel, we need to type .1 into cell C5 and hit Enter on the keyboard. Click back on cell C5 and select the Percent Style button again.

Finally, we have our 10% (as shown in the image to the left).

It’s important to note that once you have changed the formatting to percentage, you can just type 10 for 10%.

For example, select cell C3 and type 10 and your cell shows 10%.

If you want to format an entire column to show as currency or percentage, you can simply click on the column (A, B or C) and select a formatting button. You can also highlight multiple cells and select your formatting options.