Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Professional Looking Fractions.

Professional Looking Fractions

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 14, 2014)

5

Excel allows you to easily use formatted fractions in a cell. This is done by using one of the built-in cell formats available in the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box. Unfortunately, that only results in fractions appearing as two numbers separated by a slash, as in 23/24.

If you want real-looking fractions, where the dividend is actually situated over the divisor, then you are unfortunately limited in what can be done. One option is to use the Equation Editor tool, and another is to locate and use a special font that allows you to position numbers the way you want.

Unfortunately, both approaches result in numbers that can't be used in formulas or calculations. The Equation Editor actually inserts a graphic object, and using special fonts result in numbers being treated as text in the result.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8706) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Professional Looking Fractions.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is 6 - 3?

2015-10-03 10:08:04

SHIBA

HOW TO LOCK THE NEGATIVE VALUE OF A RATIO IN EXCEL. FOR EG WHEN BOTH NUMERATOR AND DENOMINATOR ARE NEGATIVE, EXCEL AUTOMATICALLY CONVERTS IT INTO A POSITIVE FIGURE (AS DONE MATHEMATICALLY). HOWEVER I DO NOT WANT THAT AS I WANT TO KEEP THE ANSWER NEGATIVE. IS THIS POSSIBLE? ABS FUNCTION CONVERTS TO POSITIVE AS WELL. PLS HELP


2014-06-28 11:11:43

John

Another option to get the numerator above the denominator with a horizontal line between is similar to Tedd's idea. Use two cells, one above the other, and add a bottom border to the top cell. You can add a whole number to the left of these cells by merging the whole number cells vertically. Any formulas that use these numbers will first need to calculate them as whole + (numerator / denominator).


2014-06-27 15:35:32

Paul J Roberts

A way I've found that looks good is to type the fraction in word, then format the first number as superscript and the second as subscript, then copy and paste into excel.
I can't get it to work in excel unless It's pasted into a text box with the actual fraction hidden in the cell underneath.
It's a lot of messing about, but does the trick.


2014-06-16 13:10:11

Tedd

I've often displayed a fraction version of a real-number value by splitting it across three cells (integer value, numerator, and denominator) with a one-character wide cell containing "/" between the numerator and denominator. It's not the prettiest depiction of the fraction, but it allows you to use the original value in calculations while displaying it in fractional form.

You can use int() and round() to form the numerator.


2014-06-16 10:46:01

Steve T

Another option, which unfortunately can't be used in equations either, is to create the text value, i.e. 2/3. Select the "2" and format it as Superscript, Select the "3" and format it as Subscript. It isn't perfect, but looks better.


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