In her weekly series for Cambridge Network members, software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'. This week she describes how to prevent fractions from being converted to dates (Microsoft Excel*) ...
Tame your computer - a fraction too clever!
Do you ever have to enter fractions in an Excel worksheet? If so, you must know it can be a bit of an awkward task - as Excel will turn your entry into a date format.
For instance, if you type 1/2, Excel will turn it into 01-Feb.
You might know that if you right-click the cell and select Format Cells you can select Fraction from the Category list. By that time, however, 01-Feb will be known as 39114. In short: a bit of a nightmare.
But there is a way to force Excel to accept your entry as a fraction.
1. Click the cell in which you want to enter the fraction
2. Type a zero followed by the fraction, for instance 0 1/2
The fraction will be displayed as you want it to be (1/2) and you can use it to do calculations, as normal.
By the way, if you like this tip, why not sign up for our next half day Excel Further Use course, scheduled for tomorrow afternoon (1 June)? The session will be held at the Sun House in Cambridge and will be 97 pounds (+VAT) only. See http://www.roem.co.uk/msexcfu.html for further details.
* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2003.
Most of what is covered however will also apply to earlier versions.
31 May 2007