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brackets around negative numbers in excel

How do I get brackets around negative numbers in excel?

They come up as -xxx.


Paul Roscoe


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By admin
13th Nov 2001 13:29

Global set up needs changed
If you change your global settings then anything formatted as a number will show brackets - saves you having to use the defaults -

Control Panel
Regional Options
Negative numbers format - change this from -1.1 to (1.1)

I find this better than using defaults.


Thanks (1)
By Abacjm
13th Nov 2001 02:40

Brackets for All
Select the rows/columns that you want to format and click on Format Cells. When you select Numbers, you will get a whole list of different formats. Select theone that nearest matches your desired end such as x,xx0;-x,xx0. Simply delect the leading minus and place brackets in fron t and behind the second set, so that it now reads x,xx0;(x,xx0) et voila, you have bracketed negative numbers.
You will still have the original so next time your latest addition will probably be at the bottom of the list. If you want the numbers to line up to the decimal place such as x,xx0.00; (x,xx0.00) you will ahve to add _ to the first setr and (_) to the second, so that they read x,xx0.00_;(x,xx0.00(_)
That is acc to other sources on this web site who raised this question last week, methinks.
Good deed done for the day now I am off to the scratcher!

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By shurst
13th Nov 2001 08:34

I'm not sure John's lining up version is quite right. Try:


The _ (underscore) causes Excel to leave a space equal to the width of the character that follows, so _) will leave a space equal to a closing bracket after each positive figure causing it to line up properly with negative figures.


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By admin
13th Nov 2001 09:17

How do you get this to default?
I have done this for quite a while, but have never found out how to set Excel so new workbooks default to this. Infact the bracket format option doesn't appear at the bottom of the custom list when I open up a new worksheet, so I have to re-enter it on every new worksheet.

How do you change the format of the default worksheet (I would also like to change the default margins)?

Thank you.

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By Anonymous
13th Nov 2001 09:48

You need to create a template
You need to set up a workbook exactly how you want your default workbook to be (format cells, margins, no. sheets etc) and then save as "book.xlt" in your XLStart folder which you will find hidden somewhere on your C drive (mine is under C:\Program files\microsoft office\office\XLStart) This should then be used as your default (but I think you need to restart computer first)

Hope this helps


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13th Nov 2001 08:50

brilliant! thanks chaps.

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By admin
13th Nov 2001 11:48

Thank you Louise - it works perfectly (and I didn't need to restart the computer!).

David Evans

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