A cool feature within Excel is the ability to format a cell’s value by pressing CTRL + 1 on any cell.

This brings up the Format Cells dialogue box and under the Custom category you can customize the Type to whatever you like and even insert symbols!

There are four formatting sections that you have to follow:

Positive format; Negative format; Zero format; Text format

You can view the Custom Number Formats blog post that explains this in more detail here

In our example below we want to enter a % Variance column in our data and insert the symbols ▲▼ to show a negative and positive variance.

DOWNLOAD EXCEL WORKBOOK

STEP 1: Enter a Variance calculation in a column, select the column’s variance numbers and press CTRL + 1 to bring up the Format Cells dialogue box

excel format cells dialogue box

STEP 2: Select the Custom category and select a number format type

Excel custom number format

STEP 3: Under the Type: area you will need to enter the text [green] at the start of the positive value string and enter the % sign at the end of the positive and negative value strings

excel type format cells dialogue box

STEP 4: Now select a blank cell and go to Insert > Symbol > Font: Arial > Subset: Geometric Shapes and then Insert the Up-Pointing Triangle and Insert the Down-Pointing Triangle and press Cancel

excel symbol characters

STEP 5: You will need to copy the triangles, select the variance numbers, press CTRL + 1 and paste the triangles before each positive and negative value string, then press OK

excel triangles in custom format

You now have your custom number formats with an upwards triangle for any positive %s and a downwards triangle for any negative %s

excel variance numbers

Watch the tutorial below:

Custom Symbols with Numbers

HELPFUL RESOURCE:

Me_Podcast_Banner_EXCEL

 

 

 

 

 

If you like this Excel tip, please share itEmail this to someone

email

Pin on Pinterest

Pinterest

Share on Facebook

Facebook

Tweet about this on Twitter

Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Linkedin

Share on Google+

Google+

Related Posts

Quick Access Toolbar The Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) is located at the top left hand corner of the ribbon and has the most commonly used commands, like the Save, Undo and Redo.  The QAT is unique to each user´s workbook settings. You can move the QAT below or above the ribbon by right clicking on t...
How to Calculate Percentage in Excel In calculating percentages in Excel, there are a lot of ways that you could do this: What is the percentage of a number? What is the percentage change of value i.e. The percentage increase or decrease What is the proportion against a total value? Let us go over ...
Show The Percent of Row Total With Excel Pivot Tab... Excel Pivot Tables have a lot of useful calculations under the SHOW VALUES AS option and one that can help you a lot is the PERCENT OF ROW TOTAL calculation. This option will immediately calculate the percentages for you from a table filled with numbers such as sales data, exp...
Excel Paste Special: A Values Multiplier Paste Special has a few different Paste features and operations that many users do not know about. One of them is the Paste Special > Values > Multiply combination. What that does is multiply a range of selected cells by a value, called the multiplier.  So if you want...