Microsoft KB Archive/174613

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Article ID: 174613

Article Last Modified on 8/17/2005


  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q174613


When you use the number formats listed in the Format Cells dialog box, negative number formats may not appear with parentheses.


This behavior occurs if the negative number format for currency in the International icon (Microsoft Windows for Workgroups, Windows 3.1 and 3.11, or Windows NT Workstation 3.51) or the Regional icon (Windows 95 or Windows NT Workstation 4.0) in Control Panel uses a format that does not use parentheses. This behavior may also occur if the settings in the International or Regional icon are corrupted.


Microsoft Excel uses the settings in the International or Regional icon in Control Panel to determine the number formats to use. These settings affect the way Microsoft Excel displays and uses dates, times, currency, and numbers.

To correct the International or Regional settings, use the appropriate procedure for your version of Microsoft Windows.

Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0

  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and click Control Panel.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click the Regional Settings icon.
  3. Click the Currency tab.
  4. In the Negative Currency Format list, select a format with parentheses and no spaces in the format and click OK. (The formats with the spaces do not correct the problem.)

Windows 3.1, Windows 3.11, and Windows NT 3.51

  1. In Program Manager, double-click the Main group.
  2. Double-click Control Panel.
  3. Double-click the International icon.
  4. Under Currency Format, select a format with parentheses.
  5. Click OK.


Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0

For more information about international settings, click the Index tab in Windows Help, type the following text

international settings, changing

and then double-click the selected text to go to the "To change number, currency, time, and date settings" topic.

Other Versions of Windows

For more information about customizing Windows for international use, click the Search button in Control Panel Help, and type:

International Options

Additional query words: Parentheses number format excel XL

Keywords: kbenv kbprb KB174613