Tame your computer - get ahead with zeros


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 display your numbers with leading zeros (Microsoft Excel*) ...

Full bragging rights for this week's tip go to Tan Razaq who was a recent  hero at an Advanced Excel training session when he knew how to use a custom number format to display leading zeros.

Having explained how to create a custom number format if none of Excel's predefined formats are what you want (for instance, using the format code #,###;(#,###) to display negative numbers in brackets) one of his colleagues  asked how to display a fixed-length number with seven digits.

Here's how:

1. Right-click the cell and select Format Cells from the shortcut menu (or
choose the Format, Cells command)
2. Click the Number tab, if necessary
3. Select the Custom option in the Category box
4. In the Type box, type the custom format 0000000 (i.e. the same number of
zeros as digits you want to display)
5. Click OK

When you use this format, if you type 123 Excel will display 0000123.  (Thanks for your help, Tan! It was good to have you there!)

Finally, there are still a few places left on the next innovation award-nominated hands-off Excel with Excel seminar, planned for Monday, 30 April. So if  you are looking to excel with Excel, but the very thought of spending a day in front of a computer in a classroom puts you off ... Or perhaps you don't  want to spend time entering data, correcting mistakes and feel as if you are
slowing everyone else down? Or perhaps you are happy to experiment on your own and don't want to wait for slower delegates to catch up?

Then join me for a lively mix of demonstrations and business examples and go back with a seminar handout and CD packed with exercise files to practice what you've learnt at your own pace in your own time.

You can book and pay (GBP247 only!) online; see http://www.roem.co.uk/excel_with_excel.html

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2003.
Most of what is covered however will also apply to earlier versions.

26 April 2007

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.
Contact her by email Karen@roem.co.uk or visit her website at


Karen Roem
Microsoft Office-ionado

Roem Ltd – software training and support