How to display a dash ( - ) instead of a zero in your Excel cells?

## Don't replace manually your zeros with a dash in Excel ⛔

**This remark is very important**. If you replace manually each 0 with a dash, **you will create confusion between the text and numeric values in the same column** ☹️

- A dash is considered as text
- 0 is a number

For example, in this document, because of the dashes, **Excel considers that not all the cells have a numeric value**.

The COUNT function counts the number of numeric values. This is why here, **you can see that the dashes are not included in the result**.

## How to display a dash automatically instead of a zero in Excel?

To display a dash instead of the number 0, you have to customize the format of your numbers.

- First, open the
**Format number**dialog box - Go to the
**Custom**Category

## How to customize the display of the numbers in Excel?

Excel offers 4 displays for numbers, in this order

- Display of positive numbers
- Display of negative numbers
- Number zero
- Text

**Positive number;Negative number;0;Text**

You also need to specify how the number will be displayed.

- Use
**0**to display all the 0 (important to keep the leading 0) - Use
**#**to display the numbers**except the 0**if not necessary

For instance, if you have the number 123

- The code #### (
**4 #**) will display 123 in your cell - The code 0000 (
**4 zeros**) displays the value**0123** - And with the code ###0.00 the display will be 123.00 (no leading 0 but 0 for the decimals 😉)

## Negative numbers

The display of negative numbers can be represented in red with the following code

#,##0.00; [Red] - #,##0.00

Or between parenthesis the code

#, ##0.00; [Red](#,##0.00)

## Related articles

- Highlight the min and max values automatically
- Display negative number in parenthesis
- Quizzes for Excel
- Exercises Online for Excel
- Start Excel with your custom format number

## Replace the 0 by a dash in Excel

To change a zero to a dash, you have to play on the 3rd argument of the code of a number.

So, by adding just a dash between quotation marks in the 3rd parameter, all your 0s will be replaced by dashes.

#,##0.00; [Red] - #,##0.00 ;"-"

**Zeros are now displayed with a dash** and the COUNT function returns 8 numeric values for each column 😀