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Displaying reduced fractions in Excel

Posted on 2000-04-04
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Last Modified: 2008-03-03
How can I display unreduced (3/9 not 1/3) fractions in Excel?  I want to see the actual numbers I am working with, not the reduced fraction that Excel defaults to.  Any help at all would be appreciated. Thanks!
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Question by:deyott
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calacuccia earned 150 total points
ID: 2685122
Hi Deyott,

Unfortunately this is impossible, as Excel will automatically transform 3/9 to 1/3 or 0.33333

I'll try to find something, if not maybe someone else will.

Calacuccia

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Expert Comment

by:eal4
ID: 2685273
Yes it can be done, go to Format; Cells; and click Text. The numbers will stay as you typed.
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by:eal4
ID: 2685287
I should have added that auto sum doesn't work in this mode, you have to do the math manually and enter the result.
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Expert Comment

by:TigerMan
ID: 2685324
deyott,

Agree with calcacuccia: It does not seem possible to enter a fraction without Excel reducing it to lowest possible terms automatically - not whilst retaining numeric functionality anyway.

Dave
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Author Comment

by:deyott
ID: 2685652
Thanks for the info. That is what I have found to be true, I just wanted to see if anyone else knew of something different.
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LVL 17

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by:calacuccia
ID: 2685669
Hey, you know what ?

I just found a way to work around this problem (not very straight but it works)

Enter your fractions preceded by a ' (apostrophe)

Then use this formula when you need the value corresponding to it:

=VALUE(LEFT(A1,SEARCH("/",A1)-1))/VALUE(RIGHT(A1,LEN(A1)-SEARCH("/",A1)))

(Of course this applies for a fraction entered in cell A1)

Calacuccia
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Author Comment

by:deyott
ID: 2685686
Could I use this if I had the denominator an the numerator in seperate cells?  That way I could use formulas to get the denominator an the numerator and just manipulat the display.  I am working with a grad  student on his thesi that has around 500 records with about 12 fields each.  We really don't want to do the math by hand, we want the fraction to update as we add info. Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:calacuccia
ID: 2685696
You could use a similar method, a lot simplier.

For example, imagine your denominators are in column A, and numerators in column B, starting on line 1, you could use this formula, in cell C1 and copied down to show all fractions as you like:
=A1 & "/" & B1

A1 and B1 can contain any number and can be the result of formula's, so the cells in column C will be automatically updated.

In this example, I could imagine a set of formula's in column A & B, and the showed fraction in column C.

Now all you would have to do in that case is the hide columns A & B. The formula's will still be calculated and you still refer to those cells in further formula's.

Maybe that's what you are looking for ?

Calacuccia
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Author Comment

by:deyott
ID: 2685700
Yes that would work.  I don't know why I didn't think of that!  Thanks for much for your input.  Can you tell me how I can award you more points for your effort?
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:calacuccia
ID: 2685704
You're Wellcome. Actually, I did not think of that initially neither, it was just your last comment which "ringed a bell"

If you want to award more points, you can just add a new question in the MSOffice area, entitled 'For Calacuccia' and you assign the number of points you like.

You don't have to, though, I was glad to find some workaround.

Cheers
Calacuccia
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