Formatting numbers

A number can look different from the actual value entered in a cell, depending on the number format. Number formats differentiate one kind of data from another; for example, currency from percentages. Number formats affect only how IBM® Docs displays numbers, not how it stores or calculates numbers.

For example, the entry 25.451 might be displayed as $25.45. A number is automatically formatted if you enter it using a time format, a date format, a percent sign, or your currency symbol. For example, if you enter 12:31:57, a time format (HH:MM:SS) is automatically assigned to that cell. The formatting applied in these cases is specific to your locale.

Use Format > Number to apply a different format to numbers in a selected range.

Number format categories

Number formats are grouped into the following categories: number, percent, currency, scientific, and date or time. Each category has subcategory formats, such as whether the number is displayed rounded or with decimal points. The specific content of the subcategories depends on your default locale setting.

Note: When you edit Microsoft Excel or IBM Symphony™ spreadsheets in IBM Docs, numbers displayed in scientific (exponential) notation retain the same number of integers, decimals, and exponents that they had in the original file. When you enter scientific notation in a new IBM Docs spreadsheet, the number is formatted with 2 decimal places and 2 exponents. For example, enter 3e10 into a cell and 3.00E+10 is displayed.

Examples

The following table shows the same number formatted in different ways.

Table 1. Same number with different formats applied
Number format 1234.567 shows as
Rounded 1,235
Decimal 1,234.57
Percent 123456.70%
Note: Changing an entry to percent format multiplies the number by 100. Percent format is often used to show decimal numbers as a percentage, for example to show .08 as 8%.
Currency $1234.57
Scientific 1.23E+03
Note: In appropriate locales, such as German, IBM Docs uses a comma ( , ) as the decimal separator instead of a period ( . ).

Currency format

By default, the locale setting for currency format is the same as the language setting in your web browser. You can change the default locale for your spreadsheets by using the File > Set Document Locale command.

Using the Format > Number command, you can format different cells in the same spreadsheet as different types of currency. For example, you can format one cell as US dollar and another cell as Euro.

If people co-editing a spreadsheet have their browsers set to different languages, each sees the currency format specific to their browser language. They all see the currency symbol, however, for the locale in which the document was created. If one person uses Spreadsheet Settings to change to a locale that is different from the one set in his browser, only he see the new currency format. Others continue to see the format that reflects their browser setting.




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