This section describes how to format the appearance of data in a cell. The section Section 5.11 ― Conditional Formatting of Cells describes a more advanced method of formatting where the depends on various conditions involving the current cell value and/or the values in other cells.
Cell formats allow you to only change the way cell data appears in the spreadsheet. It is important to keep in mind that it only alters the way the data is presented, and does not change the value of the data.
The formatting options allows for monetary units, scientific options, dates, times, fractions,and more. Positive and negative values can have different colors and formats for aiding in keeping track of values. There are also a large variety of date and time formats for virtually any time and date format one can think of. Formatting also allows you to set font, background color, and borders for selected cells.
Finally, advanced formatting options allow you to lock some of the cells so that their values cannot be changed, or restrict the range of values that can be entered in the selected cells.
To change the formatting of a cell or a selection, you can either use the Format Cells dialog which holds all of the formatting options or use specific formatting elements available as buttons on the Format Toolbar.
This dialog, shown in Figure 5-16, gives you access to all formatting options.
To launch this dialog, select the cell or range of cells you want to format (see Section 5.6 ― Selecting Cells and Cell Ranges for details on selecting cells) and then use one of the following methods:
The Format Cells dialog contains tabs Number, Alignment, Font, Border, Background, Protection, and Validation. These tabs are described in detail in the subsequent sections.
To set one of formatting options, select the corresponding tab, choose the options you need, and click OK. This will apply the options you selected (in all tabs) and close Format Cells dialog. You can also click on Apply to apply the and keep the dialog open, or on Close to close the dialog without applying changes.
Some of the most commonly used formatting options, such as font, background, and alignment, can also be accessed by using the buttons in the Format Toolbar. This toolbar is described in detail in Section 4.4.3 ― The Format Toolbar,