Excel Formatting

I want to work in investment banking and as a beginner, from the threads, I've read, you're basically doing lots of modeling. A fair amount, I would suspect would be formatting the spreadsheets, powerpoints to make it look presentable. To your knowledge, are there any resources out there where I can practice formatting for excel and powerpoint? Like the excel challenge that was posted, where the raw data is given and the final product is shown as well and the task is to reach that end product. Just curious, if anything like that existed. Needless to say, any advice is welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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Comments (17)

May 21, 2018 - 4:45am

Excel Date Formatting question (Originally Posted: 03/01/2018)

I'm sure I'm gonna feel dumb after I get the answer to this but I've been staring at this all morning.

I am analyzing a MF rent roll and need to count the leases expiring each month. Below is the the function argument dialog box and it looks like its not reading my dates as dates? I'm getting all 0s and not any error messages.

I've confirmed that the cells are formatted as dates, etc. so I am drawing blanks. Only thing I can think of is b/c its showing the dates as "43524" it's not reading them correctly??? Obviously I'm desperate and would appreciate the help at this point

May 21, 2018 - 4:48am

Random Excel formatting question... (Originally Posted: 08/30/2011)

So what's the etiquette in reference to negative numbers and percentages in Excel? Should they be consistent with one another (read: both use parentheses).

I've been working from a template Excel document and never paid it much attention before...although it was prior to the company shitting the bed...but the company in question had negative EBITDA for the period so the margins are negative (although, I suppose they are technically "N/A"). Anyways, the margin is directly beneath the EBITDA line and it just looks weird when they both use parentheses.

What's everyone's thoughts? Any advice would be great.


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May 21, 2018 - 4:50am
I always use parentheses for nominal figures and negative signs for percentages. My models are laid out differently so I don't know how that would look for yours.

That is how I've always done it. For some reason one of the principals wanted me to change it so it is consistent, but frankly is looks fucking stupid. I will take it back to him and negotiate a settlement, lol.


"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant, it's just that they know so much that isn't so." - Ronald Reagan
May 21, 2018 - 4:51am

Couldn't you just put the margin in bold and use conditional format to make red=losses?

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May 21, 2018 - 4:52am

Conditional Formatting in Excel 2007 (Originally Posted: 03/03/2009)


Does Excel 2007 allow you to Condtionally format blank spaces? I am doing a trend analysis for my companies Utility usage and am trying to show my VP how "spotty" the data is, by showing bold colors of all the blanks throughout the 150,000 line items. Any help is appreciated, thanks.

May 21, 2018 - 4:58am

Excel Question (number formats/alignment) (Originally Posted: 08/08/2013)

Alright gurus, question on number formats and alignment.

When using the accounting format, how do I line up two 0's, or "-" marks in consecutive rows in the same column when the first row has a $ sign and the next row does not. As of now, the first row's "-" is in the center, and the second row's "-" is aligned to the right. Do I have to create a custom format or is there a better way?

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