How to Format Phone Numbers in Excel: A Clear Guide

Formatting phone numbers in Excel can be a bit tricky, especially if you want to display them in a specific way. In this article, we will explore different methods for formatting phone numbers in Excel, so you can easily manage your data.

Firstly, it is important to understand the different formats that phone numbers can take. Some countries use different formats than others, and some businesses may have their own specific format. Generally, phone numbers consist of a country code, an area code, and the phone number itself. However, the order and formatting of these components can vary. It is important to consider the intended audience for your data and format the phone numbers accordingly.

Using Built-In Excel Format

Excel comes with a variety of built-in formats that can be used to format phone numbers. The steps to format phone numbers using the built-in formats are straightforward to follow.

To use the built-in format, follow the steps below:

  • Select the cells that contain the phone numbers that you want to format.
  • Right-click on the selected cells and choose “Format Cells” from the context menu.
  • In the Format Cells dialog box, click on the “Special” tab.
  • In the Type list, select “Phone Number.”
  • Click “OK” to apply the format to the selected cells.

Excel will now format the phone numbers in the selected cells according to the selected format.

It is worth noting that the built-in format may not be suitable for all phone numbers. For example, if you have phone numbers with international codes, the built-in format may not work correctly. In such cases, you may need to create a custom format to format the phone numbers correctly.

Using the built-in format is a quick and easy way to format phone numbers in Excel. However, it is essential to ensure that the format is suitable for the phone numbers you are working with.

Using Custom Format To Format Phone Numbers

What Custom Format To Use?

When formatting phone numbers in Excel, using a custom format can be a great way to achieve the desired result. The custom format allows the user to format the phone number in a way that suits their needs. The format can be created and customized to display the phone number in different ways such as US, UK, Indian phone number formats, etc. We will give examples on these 3 but if you need to save info for people from other countries, Wikipedia has a great list for every country.

US Phone Number Format

To format a phone number in US format for local use, the following custom format can be used: (0XXX) XXX-XXXX. This format displays the phone number with the area code enclosed in brackets and the phone number separated by a hyphen. For example, if the phone number is 1234567890, the formatted phone number will be (123) 456-7890. For international contexts, the form +1 XXX XXX XXXX is more appropriate, which would look like +1 123 456 7890

UK Phone Number Format

  • Next up, the UK format for local use looks like one of the following 3:
  • (0XXX) XXX XXXX – For metropolitan areas
  • (0XXXX) XXXXXX – For non-metropolitan areas
  • (0XXX XX) XXXX – For non-metropolitan areas

For international contexts, you can use this format: +44 XXXX XXXXXX

India Phone Number Format

To format a phone number in India, you have to consider who you are calling. A landline number in India would have the format XXX-XXXXXXX, and a mobile number would have the format XXXXX-XXXXX which can be formatted as +91-XXXXX XXXXX in internatonial use.

+91 stands for the international access code for India. So your custom formats would be:

  • XXX-XXXXXXX – For landline numbers
  • XXXXX-XXXXX- For mobile numbers (local)
  • +91-XXXXXXXXXX – For mobile numbers (international)


Formatting phone numbers in Excel can greatly improve the readability and organization of your data. By using the various formatting options available, such as custom number formatting and the TEXT function, you can create phone number formats that are consistent and easy to understand.

Remember to keep in mind the different phone number formats used in different regions and to ensure that your formatting aligns with the conventions of your audience. Additionally, it may be helpful to use data validation to ensure that phone numbers are entered correctly and consistently.

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