When I selected two decimal places, why did the numbers display with # signs?


If any cell displays number signs (#), you can widen the column to display the numbers. Double-click the column border to the right of the column letter for the column you want to adjust.


Does Excel have a fast way to display the Format Cells dialog box?


Absolutely. Press Ctrl+1.


I like using a shortcut menu for making changes to my worksheet. Can I format numbers with a shortcut menu?


Yes. You're in luck! Select the cells you want to format and then click the right mouse button in one of the selected cells. Your shortcut menu should appear. Then choose Format Cells.


Does Excel have a shortcut for applying the same number format in various places throughout a large worksheet?


Certainly. You can repeat a number format change in another cell by selecting Repeat Format Cells from the Edit menu or by pressing the F4 (Repeat) key. Either way, you save time and keystrokes.


After I created a custom numeric format in one workbook, why couldn't I use it in another workbook?


You can reuse all modified custom numeric formats within a worksheet without retyping them. Excel stores all customized formats at the bottom of the Type list. That way, you can select them over and over. However, if you create a custom format for one workbook, you have to re-create the format for other workbooks.

    Part I: Excel Basics