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

Share on Facebook

Tweet about this on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Google+

Related Posts

Insert a Pivot Table Pivot Tables allow you to analyze thousands of rows of data with just a few mouse clicks.  It is the most powerful tool within Excel due to its speed and output and I will show you just how easy it is to create one.If you are using a table or data set to analyze your informat...
How To Fix Pivot Table Empty Cells I am sure that you have come across a Pivot Table which has empty cell values and thought "What the hell is happening here?"This is because your data source has blank cells for certain items, which happens from time to time.This can be fixed in your Pivot Table and you ca...
Insert Subtotals to a Pivot Table When you create a Pivot Table that has multiple fields in the Row Labels, Excel will automatically add a Subtotal to the top of the Group.What about if you want to change the Subtotals to show at the bottom of the Group or take the Subtotals out all together?Well you have...
Custom Date Formats in Excel Custom date formats in Excel allow you to display only certain parts of the date.Say you had a date of 18/02/1979, which coincides to be my birthday 🙂You can use the Format Cells dialogue box to show only the number 18, the day that corresponds to that date (Sunday), the...