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.


5 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