Easily Dividing Values by 1000

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 3, 2015)


In some worksheets Mustafa has many tables that contain values in the millions (six digits) and he wants to reduce them to, for example, thousands. He wonders if there is a simple shortcut to make that reduction without going into each cell and dividing by 1,000.

Assuming you don't want to take the route of creating a formula that actually does the division, there are a couple of ways to go about this. First, if you really want to divide the values by 1,000, you could use the Paste Special feature of Excel:

  1. In a blank cell somewhere, enter the value 1000.
  2. Select the cell and press Ctrl+C. This copies the value to the Clipboard.
  3. Select the cells that you want to divide by 1,000.
  4. On the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down-arrow under the Paste tool. Excel displays a few options for your pasting pleasure.
  5. Choose the Paste Special option. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. The Paste Special dialog box.

  7. In the Operation area of the dialog box, select the Divide radio button.
  8. Click OK.

That's it; all the cells you selected in step 3 are divided by 1000. You can also delete the value you placed in the cell in step 1.You should be aware that the Paste Special will work on all cells you selected, even if those cells are in hidden rows or columns.

If you don't want to permanently modify your data, you could create a custom format that will display your data as if it were divided by 1,000. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to format.
  2. Right-click the range to display a Context menu, from which you should choose Format Cells. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Number tab is displayed.
  4. In the Category list, choose Custom. (See Figure 2.)
  5. Figure 2. The Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  6. In the Type box enter "##,##0.00," (without the quote marks).
  7. Click OK.

The cells now appear as if they've been divided by 1,000, even though the original values remain in the cells. If you prefer to "divide" by 1,000,000, then you can place two trailing commas in the custom format in step 5.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11229) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.

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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What is 6 + 4?

2015-10-06 01:31:23


SK is referring to divide by "Lakh" = 100,000. The Indian counting system is slightly different from metric.

100,000 - 1,00,000 => 1 Lakh
1,000,000 - 10,00,000 => 10 Lakhs
10,000,000 - 1,00,00,000 => 1 Crore


2015-10-05 09:51:31

David Zwaaf

You can avoid having all hidden cells being affected by first using the Go To (F5) menu, press Special and selecting visible cells only, then proceeding with the Paste Special Divide

2015-10-05 08:32:35

Fernando Cava

You can also reemplace the =(1000) for a specific cell (i.e. =A1)... the problem then is substitute the A1 for A1,B1,C1,etc

Anyway the tip is excellent, thanks again!!!

Best regards from Madrid (Spain),

2015-10-05 06:36:51

SK Pathak

Thank you very much to all, I have many gains,


2015-10-05 03:57:10

Andrew Evans

Richard - yes they can be.
For Millions use - #,##0,,"m"
For Thousands use - #,##,k

2015-10-05 03:43:49


If I was doing this, I would prefer to append a "k" when dividing by 1,000 (to indicate kilo-) or "M" when dividing by 1,000,000 (to indicate mega-). Could the solutions accommodate this?

2015-10-05 03:05:34


Brian: the trick you proposed (formula =1000 instead of a plain number 1000) very neat, indeed. Useful e.g. when converting currency - you can follow what rate of exchange has been applied.
The trick can be extended by applying fixed address/name instead of number. E.g obtaining =21414523/($G$2) or =21414523/roe.

2015-10-04 15:09:16

Dennis Taylor

Each trailing comma in a format hides the display of three characters to the LEFT of the decimal point.
For the value 39,678,783:
the format ##,##0.0, displays 39,678.8
the format ##,##0.0,, displays 39.7

the format ##,##0, displays 39,679
the format ##,##0,, displays 40

For all of these formats, the actual value remains unchanged, but the displayed value appears to be rounded.

2015-10-04 11:13:57

Kara Olson

Be very careful about data and model integrity when using the formatting method using "##,##0.00,"

It's easy to forget that the VALUES in the cells are actually DIFFERENT from what is visually seen.

When I use this formatting feature I include a COMMENT in the first cell of the range, stating this warning.

2015-10-04 00:12:20

Brian L.

Allen -- That trailing-comma format is something I'd never heard about -- seems really useful for financial reports ("000s") & the like!

Brian -- Ditto for the use of a formula in the Paste Special / Divide function. Neat trick!

SK -- Huh?!?

2015-10-03 11:04:03


Another way is to use the PasteSpecialDivide but instead of the cell being 1000, use =1000. This way it looks like a formula and the divided cells containing say numbers like 11576486 become formulas that look like =11576486/(1000)
This also gives you the opportunity at any point in the future to undo this using Replace.

2015-10-03 10:20:12

SK Pathak

Very Good format, If possible please share how can dived in lack

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