how to delete a Category under Format Cells

Dell / Optiplex 170l
August 24, 2009 at 10:50:53
Specs: Microsoft Office Excel 2003 SP3, 2.992 GHz / 2045 MB
Can you delete a Category under Format cells?? If so, how??

See More: how to delete a Category under Format Cells

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August 24, 2009 at 10:56:06
Please explain what you are trying to do.

What do you mean by "delete a Category"?

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August 24, 2009 at 11:03:22
We have had an issue with Excel 2003 whereby when we format a cell with Category - Custom and Type 000, or 0000, or 00000 it will not keep this formatting but will change to a Category listed as "Special" and various Types, so we want to delete this Special category to try to get away from this issue. We have been unable to find any way around the formatting issue. We feel it may have been a service pack update issue or an input of these Special formats.

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August 24, 2009 at 11:36:45
I was able to duplicate your problem on my copy of 2003.

Let me see what I can find out.

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Related Solutions

August 24, 2009 at 11:39:49
I guess I should have asked this first:

What is the purpose of formatting the cell as Custom 000, 0000 or 00000?

What do you want the data to look like afterwards?

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August 24, 2009 at 11:44:28
It needs to be in this format to upload into our accounting system (an oil and gas package called WolfPac). Unfortunatley, this is a really old package that is used by a lot of small junior oil and gas companies in the Calgary oil patch. We aren't able to convert to another oil and gas accounting system at this time (due to cost and time involved).

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August 24, 2009 at 12:25:40
re: It needs to be in this format to upload into our accounting system.

I'm not quite sure how to word this response so it makes sense but I'll try...

You say it has to be formatted as Custom 000, 0000 or 00000 in order to be uploaded to your accounting system, yet you have never been able to actually format that data like that since the format doesn't hold. Do you see my confusion?

Who says it has to formatted as Custom 000, 0000 or 00000, since apparently this format doesn't actually exist?

What is something formatted as Custom 000, 0000 or 00000 supposed to look like?

When the format changes to one of the Specials, does the data look different than when first formatted as Custom 000, 0000 or 00000?

Perhaps if you provide some examples of input (pre-formatted) data and output (post-formatted) data that might help.

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August 24, 2009 at 12:48:36
Actually that format worked until last Sunday August 16th. Previous to that the uploads always worked as the formatting stayed as Custom 000, 0000 or 00000. It was just this last week that the formatting in Excel 2003 will not stay as Custom. We try to change it to Custom format but as soon as we leave the cell it reverts to the Special format and then when we try to upload it, the accouting system does not accept it. This is why we initially thought it may have been an automatic update issue as our office computers do get updated regularly however, even computers outside our company not connected to automatic updates are having the same issue.

The accounting system dictates that it be in this format to upload as these (000, 0000, or 00000) are the size of specific fields on the accounting voucher in the accounting system. Even the upload Excel template that was originally sent over by the accounting system "loses" the formatting. Every spreadsheet we use or have used in the past to upload now automatically converts the Custom format to the Special format.
(i.e. from the upload instruction sheet:
Format the following columns as shown:Company number - Custom - 3 digit number
Month - Custom - 2 digit number
Revenue month - Custom - 3 digit number (mmy)
Invoice date - Custom - 5 digit number (mmddy)

The format should look like Company number = 010, Month = 06, Revenue month = 069, and Invoice date = 06309. When the format changes it does not in fact change "the look" of what is in the cell but it will not be accepted by our accounting system.

This is why we though if we were able to just Delete the Special Category then "maybe" the formatting would stay as Custom??

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August 24, 2009 at 12:59:53
Have you tried -

Custom 0##
Custom 0###
Custom 0####


Invoice date Custom 5 digit number (mmddy)

0#### will result in 06229 (June 22, 2009) or 12229 (December 22, 2009)

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August 24, 2009 at 13:06:14
My 2000 version of Excel has no problems with the Custom formats of 000, 0000, 00000.

The cells remain in that format with no problems.


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August 24, 2009 at 13:17:08
Are you sure it's not an update problem on the other end?
Perhaps something has changed in the WolfePak Accounting Software that you use.
That's not unheard of......


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August 24, 2009 at 13:52:38
DerbyDad03 is THE MAN!!!
I tried your suggestion and it seems to be working.
I can't Thank you enough as this saves us a HUGE amount of time in not having to redo a lot of spreadsheets that we use each month for uploads or worse yet having to manually data input all of these vouchers.

We are still wondering whether or not we could have just deleted the Special Category in an attempt to "force" Excel to keep the Custom formatting??

Also, we are still curious why the problem arose in the first place!! i.e. through a service pack update or a language update of some sort????

But, not a big deal as long as we can get our vouchers uploaded!!!

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August 24, 2009 at 19:06:19
I'm glad I could help out.

BTW...both copies of 2003 that I use (at home and in the office) exhibit the same issue - changing Custom to Special.

Let me do a little research on that, although I seriously doubt you can delete the category.

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August 25, 2009 at 07:51:19
I know this would be pure speculation but any idea as to what may have caused this??

It's almost like a "date switch" went off in all Excel 2003 installations to suddenly cause this problem.

Any possibility it could have been a language or other service pack update??

When I call Microsoft to tell them about the problem they wanted to charge me as Excel 2003 is no longer supported so you not only saved us time but money as well with this solution.

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August 25, 2009 at 07:58:23
I don't know what could have caused it but I've got some feelers out asking around.

If you wanted to spend the time, you could find out if MS released an update around that time, but (now, don't take this wrong way!) I don't care enough to put much effort into finding the cause. <g>

As long as we've found a workaround, I'm satisfied.

If I do hear anything, I'll post it here.

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