How to Select the Right Number Format in Numbers Spreadsheets

By Mark L. Chambers

After your data has been entered into a Numbers spreadsheet’s cell, row, or column, you still might need to format it before it appears correctly. Numbers, which is part of the iWork suite, gives you a healthy selection of formatting possibilities.

Number formatting determines how a cell displays a number, such as a dollar amount, a percentage, or a date.

Characters and formatting rules, such as decimal places, commas, and dollar and percentage notation, are included in number formatting. So, if your spreadsheet contains units of currency, such as dollars, format it as such. Then all you need to do is type the numbers, and the currency formatting is applied automatically.

To specify a number format, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells, rows, or columns you want to format.

  2. Click the Inspector toolbar button.

  3. Click the Cells Inspector button in the Inspector toolbar to display the settings.

  4. Click the Cell Format pop-up menu and click the type of formatting you want to apply.

    You can format the data you’ve entered from the Inspector.

    You can format the data you’ve entered from the Inspector.