A Hopefully Helpful Spreadsheet Discovery

Howdy, all.

For some of you this may be old hat but I've been trying to figure it out/find it for years. If you already knew this, I apologize for taking up your time.

For those who are still looking, here's how to make the + and - signs show in spreadsheet programs (Excel, Google Sheets, Free Office, etc.) for your character sheets and game notes:

In the spreadsheet, select the cells you want to display numbers with these signs. Click on Number on the top bar and select Custom from the drop-down:


Choose the General format at the top of the Format window and paste this over the word General:

Save the spreadsheet. AFAIK, once you save a document with this formatting in it, it will be available in subsequent sheets you create.


You could also just use '+# in the cell, since the -# should always show up. So if you wanted "+3" to show up, just type '+3 in the cell.

Also changing the Category to Text will let you write things like +3 straight into the cell, though it requires actually choosing "Format cells" and in this case the method you gave is better.

Using ‘+# or having the formatting as text is not great because then the cell is text rather than a number which is more useful if you have further operations being done like a chart of lab totals or other automated features.

Very true, I was not attempting to knock the original post (it is very useful). In any case where the number is used for automated features then the method he gave is the way to go. I was just attempting to give a faster and simpler method of displaying "+#" for those who just wanted it to display that way before printing, since it can be done by straight typing without editing any formatting.