Tech Tips Home
The Best Tech Tips And Daily Deals
Newsletter On The Internet!

Shop online 24hrs a day or call us Mon-Fri
8:30AM-4:30PM EST - 1-800-915-2088
WorldStart Tech Tip And Store Search
Email: Password: Login Remember Me

Like what you see here? Subscribe to the Tech Tips newsletter!   Email: Subscribe

Excel Works With More Than You Think

Friday, June 22nd, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help
 
Loading...


Excel Works With More Than You Think

Have you ever found yourself working in MS Excel and needed to enter fractions? What did you do?

(Besides have flashbacks to middle school where you labored endlessly over those dreaded things!)

I know I’ve made them into formulas before. Basically, I divide the numerator by the denominator, add on the whole number and then convert the whole thing to a decimal in the process.

It works, but only if I don’t need the fractions to be maintained.

Wouldn’t it be nice to know how to work in Excel with the fractions, along with getting your answers back in fractions?

I find, at least sometimes, the ability to complete the work in fractions is a plus. So, let’s get to it!

When you need to enter a mixed number into an Excel cell, simply type this:

  • The whole number
  • Followed by a space
  • The fraction numerator
  • A slash (/)
  • The fraction denominator

What you should see in the cell for, let’s say two and four-fifths, would be:

If you need to see the decimal equivalent, simply take a look in the formula bar:

Now that we’ve seen the basics, let’s look at a couple of special cases.

First, let’s discuss the case of simple fractions (fractions without a whole number).

In order to get Excel to accept simple fractions and actually treat them as fractions, you’ll need to enter 0 as the whole number, then the space, then the fraction as done above.

If you don’t enter the whole number 0, Excel will turn your fraction into a date and you don’t want that! (For many people, fractions are confusing enough without throwing unwanted dates into the mix!)

The second special case I wanted to discuss involves fractions containing three digit numerators or denominators.

In order to get Excel to keep the larger numbers, you’ll need to format the cells appropriately.

I could get the program to accept fractions with two digit numerators or denominators, but once I bumped it up to three digits, the program automatically reduced the fraction back to a two digit number. This even happened in cases where the fraction could not be mathematically reduced. It simply approximated as close at it could to the original entered data.

So, I went looking in the Format menu, Cells choice (Ctrl + 1) and found a solution.

You simply need to set the fraction type as “Up to three digits” and then click OK.

Now, you can use fractions in your formulas, in many cases making the results more exact. I mean, let’s face it, we tend to round the decimals after a few places and Excel won’t do that during the calculations. That is, unless we force it to.

That’s it. Excel fractions made easy!

~ April

Comments are closed.

Like these tips? Get them for FREE in your email!

WorldStart's Tech Tips Newsletter

  • Tech Tips Daily - Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

  • Tech Tips Weekly - If you don't want our Tech Tips newsletter every day, then sign up for this weekly newsletter to get the best information of the week. Sent on Fridays.

Other Newsletters

  • WorldStart's Daily Deals - Every week, we send out great deals in our Daily Deals newsletter. Many of these deals are exclusively for our Daily Deals newsletter subscribers and can't be found with our regular specials.

  • Just For Grins - Each issue includes a couple clean jokes, some funny quotes, and a hilarious reader's story. Newsletter is sent five days a week.


Enter Email Address:

Subscribe

Your e-mail address is safe with us!
We only use it to send you the newsletters you request. It is NEVER disclosed to a third party for any reason, ever! Plus, if you decided you don't like our newsletters (don't worry, you'll love them), unsubscribing is fast and easy.

Free Newsletter Signup



Tech Tips Daily

Become a tech pro! Get the very best tech and computer help sent directly to your email every weekday!

Tech Tips Weekly

The week's best in tech and computer help. Get your issue sent to your email every Friday!

WorldStart's Daily Deals

The very best deals on the Internet! Get a new set of incredible sales every day of the week!

Just For Grins

Clean jokes, funny quotes, and hilarious comics. Sent 5 times a week straight to your email.


Subscribe


Love Worldstart? Refer A Friend!

WorldStart's Premium Membership

Tip Archive


Categories:
Archives: