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Posted by Andy Brown on 14 August 2019
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Changing Excel styles to bamboozle your colleagues
So you've created a simple worksheet, and are about to email it to your colleague Chris for review:
Your humble spreadsheet.
But it's a bank holiday tomorrow, you're feeling a bit restless, and you know Chris is a bit nervous about using Excel, so you decide to add a few features. First you arrange for all the cells to turn inexplicably orange:
Your worksheet has been tango'ed.
Next, you arrange to show:
- Any text as Bazinga;
- Any numbers with the wrong sign; and
- Any zeroes as Zilch
So now you get:
Your workbook is now ready to be emailed!
It goes without saying that Wise Owl do not recommend such irresponsible behaviour, and take no responsibility for any consequences should you pursue it ...
So how to achieve these effects? Well, every cell in Excel has got a style attached to it. You can see these styles by clicking here:
Click to change the styles in a workbook.
Unless you've changed the formatting for a cell, it will use the default Normal style - which you can change:
Right-click on the Normal style and choose to modify it.
Now change the formatting used by this style:
Click on the button shown to change the format used for the selected style.
To get the orange effect, I just changed the fill colour:
Choose the Fill tab and set a background colour.
For the number formats, I chose the Number tab and typed in a custom number format:
See below for what this format means.
The four parts of the number format entered are as follows:
|Part||Text||What it means|
|1||-0||Positive numbers will appear with a preceding minus sign.|
|2||0||Negative numbers won't!|
|3||"Zilch"||Zeros will appear as the word Zilch.|
|4||"Bazinga"||Any other entries will appear as Bazinga, regardless of content.|
A more practical use of this technique is to create styles controlling different types of formatting ...