**This article will show you how to display negative numbers in parenthesis.**

## Negative numbers in Excel

In Excel, the basic way to format negative numbers is to use the Accounting number format.

This option will display your negative number in red.

But for some reports, negative numbers must be displayed with parenthesis. Let's see how to do that.

## Customize your number format

To display your negative numbers with parentheses, we must create our own number format.

Open the dialog box "Format Cells" using the shortcut **Ctrl + 1** or by clicking on the last option of the Number Format dropdown list.

Or by clicking on this icon in the ribbon

## Code to customize numbers in Excel

Excel can return 4 different display formats for a number. There are parameters for:

- 1st position: Format for
**Positive value** - 2nd position: Format for
**Negative value** - 3rd position: Format for
**Zero** - 4th position: Format for
**Text**

The order of the parameters are:

**Positive value;Negative value;Zero;Text**

You also need to specify how the number will be returned.

- Use
**0**to display number or 0 if empty - Use
**#**to display number or nothing

For instance, if you have the number 123

- The code #### will return 123
- With the code 0000 the display will be 0123
- And with the code ###0.00 the display will be 123.00

## Code to return negative number in parenthesis

So with this information, we can easily create a format for negative numbers between parentheses.

- For the positive number:
**###0.00** - For the negative number in parentheses:
**(###0.00)**

The code you need to enter in the "Type" field is:

#,##0.00;(#,##0.00)

So you write this code in the **Custom **field of the **Format Number**

The display of negative numbers is now 😀😎😍

And if you also want to **add the color red** for those numbers, you just add the color setting in to code between bracket.

#,##0.00;[Red](#,##0.00)

## Start Excel with your custom parameters

You can save your customs format number in a template and load then when you open a new workbook. The method is explain in this article.

## 15 comments

Thanks !! This solved the problem !

The problem usually is that the standard format defined in the system settings for Negative Numbers is without the (parenthesis). The solution is simple: update the system settings.

Follow this guide from Microsoft:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/negative-numbers-aren-t-showing-with-parentheses-in-excel-682a1cc5-701a-4ce7-92db-cc9eebc5ffa0#:~:text=If%20you're%20using%20Excel,setting%20isn't%20set%20properly.

Is there a way to save this format in Excel so it can be used again?

The format will be auto saved, unless you delete. (For all higher versions of excel after 2007)

Is there a way to do this so that the decimal points are all lined up in the column? In your example the negative numbers are slightly out of line because of the close-parenthesis.

To line up the decimal point you need to put a space before the ";" in which ever number format you are using.

For example:-

#,##0.00;[Red]-#.##0.00 (already in Custom format list will become

#,##0.00 ;[Red](#.##0.00)

Hope this helps

Hi Frederic,

DO you know how to fix if the sample number is not showing ?

No

THANKSSSSS, SO HELPFUL SINCE MY EXCEL DIDNT HAVE THAT IN THE NUMBER FORMAT :')

In all new excel we will need to create this code?

Is there any way to save this code permanently in my Excel 2016 costum options?

Hi Eugenio,

Yes there is a solution. I write the article today and I will paste the link here

Hi Eugenio,

You can find how to load your custom parameters in this article https://www.excel-exercise.com/start-excel-with-your-custom-parameters/

Once we put ( ) in negative number sign how can we save it so is permanent. Thank you.

You mean for all your workbook when you create a new one ?

yes