When you’re working in a spreadsheet, you may find yourself working with fraction values. By default, Excel may convert fractions into alternate formats. For example, typing 1/2 will convert to 2-Jan. But fortunately for you, it’s easy to display fractions by making a few quick adjustments. Let’s learn how to format fractions in Microsoft Excel.
How to Format Fractions in Excel
As mentioned, Excel may format fractions incorrectly based on how you input them. The key here is to specify the correct cell formatting prior to typing in the values. In this way, you’re sure to see fractions display just how you want.
To get started, click into a cell where you wish to place a fraction. Then, right-click inside the cell. From the dropdown menu that appears, choose Format Cells.
Excel will open the Format Cells menu. Here, you can make a variety of choices about how content appears in the selected cell. For this example, click Fraction in the Category sidebar on the Number tab.
Here, you can select the type of fraction to display. You’ll see choices for Up to One Digit, Up to Two Digits, and so on. For a simple fraction like 1/2, you can choose Up to One Digit (1/4). Click on the format, then choose OK.
Now, you can type 1/2 into the cell, and Excel will preserve the fraction formatting. Notice that in the Formula bar, Excel recognizes the value as 0.5. This means that you can use the fraction cell in formulas to correctly perform math calculations.
As you can see, Microsoft Excel makes it easy to type in and work with fractions. It only takes a few quick steps to set up your cell formats prior to typing in your fractions. This is a great way to display numbers in fraction format, with no hard work required.