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May 17, 2012

Learn how to create a custom format in Numbers on your Mac

by Freddie Harrison

Make dates easier to read by creating your own calendar spreadsheet using Numbers on your Mac. We’ll show you exactly how it all works in this tutorial.

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - SidebarNumbers Tutorial - Custom Format - MainWhen you are dealing with a particular set of values the way they are presented can make all the difference between them being easy to read and impossible to read. Luckily Numbers is designed to be as customisable as possible so, should you find a batch of values are looking like gibberish, you can quickly smarten them up and have them looking decipherable in no time. The key to this system is in the Format button located at the centre of the main toolbar at the top of the interface. You can easily reach this start point and use the Custom setting to create a bespoke value type that you can call on time and again. This means that if you have to repeat the spreadsheet over months and years none of it has to make your head hurt. With a custom value set up you can get to it with just a single click and clear up the clutter.

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - Step-By-Step

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - Step 1

Step 1: Select It

Drag your mouse over the values you would like to change the format of. There is no limit to the number of cells you can format but they will need to be next to one another in order to be selected as a group.

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - Step 2

Step 2: Click on Custom

From the formatting menu at the top of the interface select the Custom option at the very bottom of the dropdown. This will bring up an entirely new window that you can use to select values.

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - Step 3

Step 3: Pick your value

Use the drop-down menu at the top of the new window to select the value type that you wish to change. In this example we are using Date & Time. The values beneath will now change.

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - Step 4

Step 4: Drag and drop

You can now drag and drop the values you want to use into the command line above them. You can also delete value types that you don’t want to show up in your final spreadsheet.

Click on the image to zoom and view the annotations.

Numbers Tutorial - Custom Format - Annotated

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