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Want to turn the digits in your spreadsheets into proper US phone numbers, with area codes? Instead of manually inserting hyphens and parentheses, use Microsoft Excel’s phone number formatting option.

In Excel, you can format your data in various ways. One such formatting is for US phone numbers, turning your numbers like “5555551234” into a readable “(555) 555-1234.” You can apply this formatting to several phone numbers at once if you want.

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How to Apply Phone Number Formatting in Microsoft Excel

To start, open your spreadsheet with Microsoft Excel.

In your spreadsheet, select the cell or cells in which you have your phone numbers.

Select the cells containing a phone number in Excel.

While your phone numbers are highlighted, in Excel’s ribbon at the top, click the “Home” tab.

Click the "Home" tab in Excel.

On the “Home” tab, in the “Number” section, click “Number Format” (an arrow icon) at the bottom-right corner.

Click "Number Format" in the "Home" tab.

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You will see a “Format Cells” window. Here, from the “Category” list on the left, select “Special.”

Select "Special" on the "Format Cells" window.

In the “Type” section on the right, click “Phone Number.” Then click “OK” at the bottom.

Note: If you don’t see “Phone Number” in the “Type” section, click the “Locale” drop-down menu and choose “English (United States)” or another supported country.

Click "Phone Number" in the "Type" section and click "OK."

Back on your spreadsheet, all your phone numbers are now formatted in the proper phone number style.

Selected cells formatted in phone number format in Excel.

If you’d like a different format for these numbers, then on the “Format Cells” window, select “Custom” and then specify your custom format.

And that’s how you turn ordinary digits into phone numbers in Microsoft Excel. Very useful!


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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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