To show numbers as currency, you can apply either the Currency format or the Accounting format.

(You'll find a comparison of the two formats in the Currency or Accounting section, below.)

  1. Select the cells that you want to format and then, in the Number group on the Home tab, click the down arrow in the Number Format box.

  2. Choose either Currency or Accounting.

    Number format drop-down screen

Excel for the web applies the default currency symbol and appropriate decimal places in the cells that you selected.

Currency or Accounting?

While both the Currency format and the Accounting format can be used to correctly display monetary values, there are some differences between them, as shown in the following table.





With this format:

  • The decimal points appear aligned in the column.

  • The currency symbol appears next to the first digit in the cell. (That is, it is not aligned with the other currency symbols in the column.

Currency number format applied to cells


With this format:

  • Both the currency symbols and the decimal points appear aligned in the column.

  • Cells that contain only zeros are identified with a hyphen.

  • Negative numbers appear in parentheses.

Accounting number format applied to cells

Change the default currency symbol

You can’t change the default dollar currency symbol in Excel for the web just yet; but if you have the Excel desktop application, you can click Open in Excel and follow the instructions here to specify the default currency symbol that you want. After you apply the currency symbol, save your worksheet and then reopen it in Excel for the web.

Button to Edit in Excel

For news about the latest Excel for the web updates, visit the Microsoft Excel blog.

For the full suite of Office applications and services, try or buy it at

Need more help?

Expand your skills
Explore Training
Get new features first
Join Microsoft Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?

Thank you for your feedback!