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Adjusting column width and Global format changes

Adjusting column width and Global format changes


Numbers placed in formatted cells may be too large to display properly, given the column width. If this is the case, they are displayed as asterisks (*****). In the example we are working on, type -123456 into cell C5 and press (ENTER). Asterisks are displayed because this exceeds the 7 character column width. Specifically, this number needs a column width capable of displaying a total of 10 characters (6 numeric characters, preceded by one $, with one comma between 4 and 5, one open parenthesis, and one close parenthesis).

Before you change the column width in column C, use your DownArrow key to go to cell C7 in your spreadsheet and type in the number 5 ten times. The cell will hold ten (or more) 5s, but the column width is only 7. Since Lotus cannot display all of the 5s, for display purposes it converts the number to its exponential form (a small number times 10 raised to a power) and displays that. So the ten 5s entered above are displayed as 6E+09, or 6 x 10 raised to the power of 9.

Now let's see what happens when we copy this number to a wider column, type (MENU) Copy. Line 2 of the control panel now displays Copy what? C7..C7. Hit (ENTER), and 1-2-3 now asks To where? C7. Press your RightArrow key once to change C7 to D7 and hit (ENTER). D7 will now display 5.6E+09. Since there is more room in column D, 1-2-3's default format allows the number to display a more precise exponential number.


Let's say that in our checkbook we want the numbers to be displayed with commas, rounded to the nearest dollar, instead of defaulting to an exponential format. To do this, type (MENU) Worksheet Global Format (,) (0) (ENTER). Global commands change default settings for the entire worksheet and are not reflected in the first line of the control panel. Also notice that cells C7 and D7 are now displaying asterisks instead of exponentially formatted numbers. To change the column widths of column C and D at the same time, type (MENU) Worksheet Column Column-Range Set-Width. 1-2-3 now will ask: Enter range for column width change: C7..C7. Press your RightArrow key once and notice that the cell pointer now highlights C7 and D7 and that line 2 of the control panel also indicates C7..D7. Press (ENTER). Line 2 of the control panel now asks: Select a width for range of columns (1..240): 7. Press your RightArrow key multiple times until the numbers appear. Notice the columns getting wider and notice the column width count on line two increasing. When it has increased to 14, press (ENTER). The numbers will now appear and columns C and D will display 14 characters of data.

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