Do you ever find yourself adding a dollar sign to your Excel document to signify that the value of the cell is currency? Have you ever typed a number with one decimal place such as 11.7 and wanted to ensure it displays with two decimal place such as 11.70 so it could line up with the rest of the cells?

By using simple keyboard shortcuts in Excel, those examples and others are easy to accomplish and are key to making your spreadsheets consistent and appear professional.

Example 1: Two Decimals

Open Excel and type the number 11.7 into any cell and press enter. Now select the cell where you typed 11.7 and press CTRL + SHIFT + 1. This will force Excel to display two decimal places and your 11.7 should appear as 11.70.

Example 2: Currency

Again, select the cell where you entered 11.7, which now looks like 11.70, and press CTRL + SHIFT + 4 you will see it becomes $11.70.

excel-dollar-sign

Here is a short list with explanations of the shortcuts.

CTRL + SHIFT + 1 displays the number with two decimal places. The 1 at the top of the keyboard has an exclamation point. I use the exclamation point to remind me of the decimal point.

CTRL + SHIFT + 2 displays the number as time. I recommend entering your number in the following format 1:17. Some usage is recommended to learn exactly how this function operates. The 2 at the top of the keyboard has an @ symbol. I think of it like a clock face to remind me it represents time.

excel-time-display

CTRL + SHIFT + 3 displays your number as a date. I recommend entering a number in the following format 1/17 to represent Jan 17th. Some practice is recommended to learn exactly how it operates. The 3 at the top of the keyboard has a hashtag symbol. I think of it like a calendar to remind me it represents date.

CTRL + SHIFT + 4 displays your number as currency. The 4 at the top of the keyboard has a dollar sign. I use that to remind me it represents currency.

CTRL + SHIFT + 5 displays your number as a percentage. The 5 at the top of the keyboard has a percentage sign. I use that to remind me it represents percent.

~ Eli