# Thread: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

1. ## Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

A colleague of mine asked me this at work and I couldn't help. Any offers? He has a long table of figures in a Word document and wanted to put brackets round all the figures in one column (to show them as negative, like accountants do). Is there a quick way of inserting brackets down the whole column?

Ian

2. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

Word's tables are lousy spreadsheets, but you may be able to do it if your user is careful not to delete the formula field in the cells and you can take this where I leave off:

Play around with this: put this formula in each cell that needs the bracket appearence for negatives:

{ = SUM(A1) # "####;[####]" }

and change the A1 cell reference to A2 and so forth for each cell. In other words, this formula is summing the contents of its own cell.

(Those braces are field markers not braces. Those are inserted for you when you use the Tables>Formula dialog to enter the formula.)

This is not exactly your solution, but it may lie somewhere in using a formula to format the cells. This would work better if, say, column 1 was displaying the formatted contents of column 2.

3. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

Thanks - though I was hoping for something that didn't involve typing something into each cell. He already has the table of numbers. I wondered if he could avoid going through it all and typing in the brackets.

Ian

4. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

A few steps, but maybe not as long as typing each one:

.Select the column
.Copy it into a new document
.Select the table, an convert it to text
.Replace all ^p with )^p(
.Select all the text in the document and convert it to a table
.Select the table, and copy
.Go back to your original table; highlight the column, and paste

For the first and last values you will have to put the brackets in manually

5. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

If the whole column is formatted in the same style, select the column, use Edit>Replace, Find: ((leave that empty and choose the style from "More...>Format>Styles")), Replace: (^&).

<img src=/S/cheers.gif border=0 alt=cheers width=30 height=16> Greetings, Klaus

6. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

Thanks Klaus - that certainly works in Word 2000 at home, so now I'll try it in Word 97 at work. (Does Word 97 use the ^& option?)

7. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

> (Does Word 97 use the ^& option?)

It does. I work with Word2000, but I discovered the "trick" (searching for the style) in prehistoric times (Word 6, or even before?).
I don't know why Word (in all versions) will do the replacement in every cell (not just in the selection) when you search for other formatting (for example "Underlined = False" or "Color = Automatic" ...) -- looks like a bug to me <img src=/S/mad.gif border=0 alt=mad width=15 height=15>

<img src=/S/gramps.gif border=0 alt=gramps width=20 height=20> Greetings, Klaus

8. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

Ian,

Really, a better solution (IMHO and if it fits the situation) is to use Excel. Either OLE a spreadsheet in your Word document or just use Excel directly. You may have to settle for parenthesis instead of brackets (but someone might know how to change to brackets....).

9. ## Re: Brackets round figures in table (Word 97)

We would have used Excel from the beginning if we could have done, but since we had a long table of numbers in Word that was where we had to start from. Klaus's solution is exactly what was wanted - I just didn't know about ^& in find and replace.

Ian

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