Brackets around negative numbers (formatting)

Copper Contributor



I am trying to get to grips with the basics of excel at the moment and just trying to sort out some optimal settings. In finance I think its standard for negative numbers to be in brackets i.e. -900 = (900). However where the tutorials state I can change this it gives me two identical options, one in red and one in black. Is it a bug that the brackets aren't appearing around two of the options in the menu. I have recently download Microsoft and have not made any edits to the settings.


Don't know if its relevant but this is running on a mac via bootcamp.


7 Replies


Try Currency or Accounting.


@Detlef Lewin  I have just tried both and both show a minus sign but no brackets

best response confirmed by Harry_S_S (Copper Contributor)


You may change Windows regional settings as here Negative numbers aren't showing with parentheses in Excel - Microsoft Support 

Alternatively apply first negative numbers with Red format. Select cells again, Ctrl+1->Number->Custom


and here change text after semicolon on


You may remove [Red] if prefer default color.

Fantastic thank you very much the root of the issue was sorted by your first link, don't know that even effected excel. I will keep the custom stuff in mind as well though ! thanks again

@Harry_S_S , you are welcome


Just open Control Panel and click on "Change date, time or number formats" (highlighted in image attached) > Additional Settings > under Numbers tab in front of Negative numbers format choose bracket number using drop down menu.c.jpge.jpg

Similarly do this under currency tab in front of negative currency format.




I've attached images to better understand and resolve the issue PERMANENTLY.