From the Not Just Numbers blog:
Apologies for the the lack of posts over the last few weeks. I intentionally took two weeks break while I was on holiday on the Isle of Skye with the family, then I have involuntarily missed the last two weeks while catching up since I got back!
I’m back now with a simple post that I have been asked about on numerous occasions.
“How can you show a number as millions or thousands? e.g. show, 3,000,000 as 3 million.”
Well, the good news is that you can do it simply with a custom number format.
There is a full description of how number formats work available here, if you wish to know a lot more about this subject, but we don’t need to understand all of that to format millions or thousands as required here.
If you right-click the cell or range that you wish to apply the number format to, and select “Custom”, you will be presented with a box to allow you to create the format. This will be pre-populated with the current number format of the cell, and you can choose to start from any other.
We’ll work from scratch with a simple format in this case, then you should be able to apply the same principles to more complicated formats.
Let’s start with a number format of
This is a commonly used format, to show numbers with two decimal places and a comma separator for the thousands.
The characters mean the following:
# – show this character only if required (e.g. if the number was 12, it would show as 12.00, not 0,012,00)
0 – always show this character, even if it is not significant (this example will always display two decimal places, and a zero before the decimal place if it is less than 1)
, – use a thousands comma separator (this works for all thousands)
In this format, 15,450,324 would appear as 15,450,324.00, but we might want it to appear as any of the following for example:
We can do this by use of the comma and the insertion of text. Taking the last example, we can remove everything after the comma, swap the hash for a 0 (so that we still get a zero, if there is less than a thousand) and add the text, i.e.
This, however gives us
We can re-introduce the comma as a thousands separator as follows:
#,##0,” thousand” giving us 15,450 thousand
If we want to do millions, we can add a second comma on the end, i.e.
#,##0,,” million” giving us 15 million
We can also put decimal places before the commas, e.g.
#,##0.00,,” million” giving us 15.45 million.
Have a play, and a read of the Office Support article on the subject, if you want to see what else you can do.
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