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Microsoft KB Archive/106150

From BetaArchive Wiki

XL: Minus Sign Appears Before Text in Custom Number Format

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 2.x, 3.0, 4.x, 5.0, 5.0c
  • Microsoft Excel for OS/2, versions 2.2, 3.0
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 2.2, 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 5.0a
  • Microsoft Excel for Windows 95, versions 7.0, 7.0a
  • Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows
  • Microsoft Excel 98 Macintosh Edition


In Microsoft Excel, when you create a custom number format that contains a text string, and you apply this format to a negative number, the text string may appear between the minus sign and the number.


To create a custom number format so that the minus sign for negative number appears directly before the number, you must include formatting specifically for negative numbers. For example, instead of using the following code

   "The value is "0. 

which uses the same format for both positive and negative numbers, use the following code:

   "The value is "0.;"The value is "-0. 

The section of the format after the semicolon (;) places the minus sign to the right of the text string when the number is negative.


This behavior is by design of the versions of Microsoft Excel listed at the beginning of this article.


"User's Guide," version 5.0, Chapter 12
"User's Guide 1," version 4.0, pages 218-227
"User's Guide," version 3.0 for Windows and OS/2, pages 186-194
"User's Guide," version 3.0 for the Macintosh, pages 178-186
"User's Guide," version 2.x for Windows, pages 321-326

Additional query words: 4.00 5.00a 5.00c 7.00a 97 98 XL98 XL97 XL7 XL5 XL4

Keywords : kbualink97
Version : WINDOWS:3.0,4.0,5.0,7.0,97; MACINTOSH:3.0,4.0,5.0,98
Issue type : kbprb
Technology :

Last Reviewed: April 8, 1999
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