The steps in this article are going to show you how to make negative numbers red in Excel. We are going to format cells with the “Number” format, then adjust a setting within that formatting option.
- Open your file in Excel.
- Select the cells for which you wish to make the negative numbers red.
- Right-click on one of the selected cells, then choose Format Cells.
- Select the Number option from the column at the left side of the window.
- Click one of the red options under Negative numbers, then click the OK button.
Microsoft Excel provides you with a variety of ways to change the number format in your cells. You can format cell values as currency, you can adjust the number of decimal places, and you can even select the way that negative numbers are displayed.
A common choice when deciding how to display negative numbers involves changing the color. Some organizations require this type of formatting, but going through a large spreadsheet and changing a font setting can be tedious, and it’s prone to manual error.
Luckily there is a way to make negative numbers red in Excel automatically by adjusting a formatting option. Our guide below will show you how to achieve this formatting in Microsoft Excel 2013.
How to Make Negative Numbers Red in Excel 2013
The steps in this article were performed in Microsoft Excel 2013, but will also work in most other versions of Excel as well.
Step 1: Open the Excel file containing the data for which you wish to make your negative numbers red.
Step 2: Select the cells to modify. You can select an entire column by clicking the column letter, an entire row by clicking the row number, or you can select the entire sheet by clicking the gray cell above row 1 and to the left of column A.
Step 3: Right-click on any of the selected cells and choose the Format Cells option from the shortcut menu. This is going to open the Format Cells dialog box.
Step 4: Choose the Number option under Category at the left side of the window.
Step 5: Click a red number format under Negative numbers to choose the red number formatting that you wish to apply. Click the OK button when you’re finished.
Additional Information on Making Negative Numbers Red in Excel
- If you would prefer not to right-click on the selected cells, you can also adjust the number format by selecting the Home tab at the top of the window, then click the small Number Format button in the Number section of the ribbon.
- After you make this change to your spreadsheet, the minus sign that was previously to the left of negative numbers will be removed. Positive numbers will be shown in their default font color, and negative numbers will be shown as red text.
- If the options for displaying negative numbers in red aren’t exactly what you are looking for, then you will likely need to use the Custom option under the Category section of the ribbon. There are a number of custom format choices within that section that you can experiment with until you find the one that displays your negative numbers the way that you need. A custom number format is often the best choice if your negative values need to be displayed in a specific way.
- Alternatively you can use conditional formatting for your selected cells. Simply select the Conditional Formatting option on the Home tab, choose the Less Than option, then adjust the settings in that window to determine how your negative numbers will be displayed.
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Matt Jacobs has been working as an IT consultant for small businesses since receiving his Master’s degree in 2003. While he still does some consulting work, his primary focus now is on creating technology support content for SupportYourTech.com.
His work can be found on many websites and focuses on topics such as Microsoft Office, Apple devices, Android devices, Photoshop and more.