One of the most useful features in Excel are custom number formats yet they remain largely underused.
In my Excel TV interview this week I shared a tip (at 52min) which uses Excel Custom Number formats inside the Excel TEXT Function, and coincidently Jordan Goldmeier (from the Option Explicit VBA blog) also used Custom Number formats in his tip (at 1hr 1min), but in a different way.
I’ve written an extensive guide on them here: Excel Custom Number Format Guide
I used them in my Tour de France Dashboard to hide zeroes and show a + symbol before the ‘Gap’ times.
I used them in this chart to indicate the direction of the change in the chart labels:
And I've written various blog posts that use them:
Marc uses them to create this data validation list that displays text, but when selected it changes to a value:
Zoran uses them in Data Validation lists to prompt the user to click on it:
And I use them here to convert numbers into text using the TEXT function
I hope you can see the diversity of applications for custom number formats and that this compilation will motivate you to master them (if you’re not already using them extensively in your work).
I know they can look a little daunting with all of the different characters but once you understand the basics you'll be surprised at what you can do with them.