Sunday, November 20, 2005

Entering Fractions in Excel
Enter 1/4 in any unformatted cell in a worksheet and Excel assumes we have entered a date. It displays what we keyed in the format 4-Jan and assumes the current year (2005). The actual value stored in the cell becomes 38,356, the number of days since 1-1-1900.

What if we wanted to enter the fraction 1/4 and not the date?

We can select the cell, then pre-format it to fraction by clicking Format > Cells > Number tab > Fraction > OK. Then we enter the 1/4 and it remains a fraction.

Yes, there is another way. In an unformatted cell, enter a zero followed by a space, then the 1/4. The zero-space overrides the default Date formatting and creates the Fraction formatting.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another Excel Shortcut
In Word inserting a date is pretty straightforward; there is a menu option for it using Insert > Date. In Excel you can search all you want in the Insert menu without ever finding Date as an option. Sure, there are functions like =TODAY() to display the current date every time the worksheet opens. With =NOW() you are given date and time. To insert a fixed date or the time right now, like in a time stamp, you might think you have to just type it in.

Recall from a previous entry Ctrl+; results in the current date (system date) being inserted into the active cell. There is also an easier way to insert the system time; Shift+Ctrl+;
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