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Excel...Number entries overlayed w/squares

Posted on 1998-03-09
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
When formatting numbers entered into a cell the first numbers in the cells are often overlayed with a box or square. The squares seem to come and go, and  the normal numbers can be printed. Can these Squares be eliminated? Do I need some kind of a patch? How would I know?
Am using Excel97 which was part of Office97 Professional Edition obtained from Gateway 2000. The  boxes seem to appear when I use the Currency Style button,$,on the toolbar. The boxes are over the first digits of the formatted columns. Another quirk that I have encountered is that when I manually narrow column widths numbers in the columns change to ######. Is this normal to indicate that the column is too narrow?
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Question by:wclaw
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:zircon
ID: 1611100
What version of Excel?  Do the squares appear only with certain fonts or number formats, or do they appear to appear randomly?

Also, I noticed this question is posted twice.  You may want to get customer service to remove one of the copies.
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Author Comment

by:wclaw
ID: 1611101
Version is Excel97 which came with Office 97 Professional, obtained from Gateway 2000. Another quirk that I have encountered is that when column widths are narrowed, columns of numbers become changed to ######. Is this normal, and just indicating that column width is too narrow/
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Author Comment

by:wclaw
ID: 1611102
Edited text of question
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Author Comment

by:wclaw
ID: 1611103
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:zircon
ID: 1611104
The answer to the last part of your question is yes, the ###### are normal when a column is too narrow to show a number in Excel.

As far as the squares are concerned, in my experience the only time I've seen anything like that is when I'm using symbols (e.g. certain ASCII characters, or math symbols) or characters that are not in a font set that I've selected.  In your case, I don't think that this is your problem.
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Expert Comment

by:zircon
ID: 1611105
By the way, regarding the ##### in a field, the number in the field is not affected - it is still there - just what you see on the screen is affected.
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Accepted Solution

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frazer earned 50 total points
ID: 1611106
Hi,

I know that in office 95 there was a bug that affected the currency button on the tool bar, in this case you could get round the problem by formatting the cells using the FORMAT, CELLS menu rather than the toolbar button.
This may well be the same problem you are experiencing in office 97.
If you find this is the problem then you can remove the button from the toolbar by right clicking on the toolbar, choosing customize and draging the button into the customize box.

Hope this helps

Frazer
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Author Comment

by:wclaw
ID: 1611107
Thank you frazer. using the FORMAT,CELLS method seems to work. I have recently found that reducing the font size sometimes works as does zooming to 75% or less. seems to be some correlation between cell size and font size??
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Author Comment

by:wclaw
ID: 1611108
Thank you frazer. using the FORMAT,CELLS method seems to work. I have recently found that reducing the font size sometimes works as does zooming to 75% or less. seems to be some correlation between cell size and font size??
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