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Excel - can't get brackets around negative numbers

Discussion in 'Business Applications' started by Lee Grant, Oct 22, 2001.

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  1. Lee Grant

    Lee Grant Thread Starter

    Oct 22, 2001
    Greetings from Sydney, Australia.

    In my last job we used Lotus and you could elect to show minus amounts with brackets around them. Now I have a new job and we use Excel 2000 that shows negative amounts with a minus sign, only. You can't change the format by using Format, Cells, Number.

    How do I get negative amounts to show with brackets around them? Also, if this is possible, how do I nominate this feature as a default whenever I start a new Excel worksheet? For that matter, even if it isn't possible, how do I nominate any default options?

    Thanks mate.
  2. Mike C UK

    Mike C UK

    Mar 12, 2001
    Hi Lee,

    You can make the changes you want by using Format - Cells - Number.

    Just choose Custom andyou will see a scroll down list of possibilities. None of these include bracketing so you just have to add them yourself in the TYPE field.

    For instance, make


    read as


    to get the result
    in your selected fields.
  3. Mike C UK

    Mike C UK

    Mar 12, 2001
    Sorry Lee, forgot about the second part of your post!

    The easiest way to format worksheets/workbooks to have the same default settings is to set up a Template.

    Take a look at the Excel Answer Wizard under the Help menu, just type in the word 'defaults' and the top line item

    "Create a sheet template for new workbooks"

    will guide you through the process, allowing you to set up all the formats you could possibly want.

    Down side is is that this template will only apply to NEW sheets - any old ones will have to re-formatted the hard way I'm afraid.

    Hope all this puts you back on track.
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