decimal points don't display on my recovered worksheet

Copper Contributor

Somebody hacked my desktop and cleared most of my files. I contacted HP as I have an HP desktop PC, and their tech spent 3.5 hours restoring what he could. I talked with Microsoft about the remaining Outlook issue and they fixed that. Unfortunately, I was too tired to continue, had a stroke 10 days ago, plus I'm 83 years young, so I need all the help I can get. All my Excel files are not displaying the decimal point, plus I can't enter a negative value such as -$150.00 without getting a formula error. It seems like this file has completely lost all of the original formatting, if that's possible. Please help. The cells are formatted as "Currency", "Negative Numbers" ($150.00) Red, "Symbol" $, "Decimal Places" 2, Sample: ($150.00)"Red"

3 Replies


I am sorry to hear about the issues you are experiencing with your Excel files. It is possible that the formatting settings in your Excel files were affected during the recovery process. Let us try to address the decimal point and negative value display issues:

  1. Fixing Decimal Point Display:

If the decimal points are not displaying correctly, you can adjust the number format for the affected cells:

  1. Select the cells where the decimal points are not displaying correctly.
  2. Right-click on the selected cells and choose "Format Cells" from the context menu.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, go to the "Number" tab.
  4. Under the "Category" list, select "Currency."
  5. Make sure that the number format is set to display the desired number of decimal places (e.g., "2" for two decimal places).
  6. Click "OK" to apply the formatting.

This should correct the decimal point display issue for the selected cells.

  1. Fixing Negative Value Entry:

To allow entry of negative values like "-$150.00" without getting a formula error:

  1. Select the cell where you want to enter the negative value.
  2. Press the "=" key to start entering a formula.
  3. Type a minus sign ("-") followed by the value you want (e.g., "-150.00").
  4. Press Enter.

This should allow you to enter negative values without formula errors.

If you need to fix the formatting in multiple cells or worksheets, you can apply these formatting changes across a range of cells or worksheets:

For Multiple Cells:

  1. Select the range of cells that need formatting adjustments.
  2. Right-click and choose "Format Cells."
  3. Follow the steps mentioned earlier to adjust the number format.

For Multiple Worksheets:

  1. If you need to apply the formatting changes to multiple worksheets, you can do so individually for each worksheet.
  2. Alternatively, you can create a custom Excel template with the desired formatting settings, and then use that template for new worksheets.

If these steps do not resolve the issues, please provide more specific details or error messages, and more details about the Excel version, Operating system, Storage medium, etc. The text and steps were edited with AI, the content was not :smile:.


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Hope this will help you.

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I probably wasn't clear enough, EVERY Excel workbook has these issues: no decimal point, and the inability to simply enter a negative value using the - prefix. Thanks


You are facing these issues across all your Excel workbooks, and it is not limited to a single file. In this case, it is possible that there might be a configuration issue or a global setting affecting Excel's behavior on your computer. Let us try a few additional steps to troubleshoot and resolve these issues:

  1. Excel Calculation Options:
  • Sometimes, calculation options in Excel can affect the display of decimal points and number formatting. Ensure that your Excel is set to "Automatic" calculation mode:
    1. Open Excel.
    2. Go to the "File" tab.
    3. Click on "Options."
    4. In the Excel Options dialog box, go to the "Formulas" category.
    5. Under "Calculation options," select "Automatic."
    6. Click "OK" to save the changes.
  1. Reset Excel to Default Settings:
  • If the issues persist, you can try resetting Excel's settings to their default values. Keep in mind that this will reset various Excel settings to their initial state, so you may need to reconfigure some preferences:
    1. Close Excel if it is open.
    2. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog.
    3. Type excel /unregserver and press Enter.
    4. Type excel /regserver and press Enter.
  • After running these commands, open Excel and check if the issues have been resolved.
  1. Repair Microsoft Office:
  • If the problems persist after trying the above steps, you can try repairing your Microsoft Office installation:
    1. Close all Office applications.
    2. Go to "Control Panel" (you can search for it in the Start menu).
    3. Click on "Programs" or "Programs and Features."
    4. Locate Microsoft Office in the list of installed programs.
    5. Right-click on Microsoft Office and choose "Change" or "Repair."
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to repair the installation.
  1. Update Microsoft Office:
  • Ensure that your Microsoft Office suite is up to date. Sometimes, updating Office can resolve known issues:
    1. Open any Office application, such as Word or Excel.
    2. Go to the "File" tab.
    3. Click on "Account."
    4. Under "Product Information," click on "Update Options."
    5. Choose "Update Now."
  • Allow Office to check for and install any available updates.

If these steps do not resolve the issues, it may be beneficial to reach out to your IT department for further assistance, as there could be specific system configurations or issues requiring deeper investigation. The text and steps were edited with the help of AI.


My answers are voluntary and without guarantee!


Hope this will help you.