Changing a Range of Cells' Data Type

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Spreadsheet.com allows you to change the data type of ranges of cells in addition to whole columns and individual cells.

Spreadsheet.com goes beyond text and numbers with support for over 25 rich data types. Setting data types for ranges of cells allows you to customize unique cells in your worksheet. For instance, in the "Error Location" column of your team's bug tracking worksheet, you might enable some users to describe where an error occurred, rather than require them to submit a URL. 

How to Edit the Data Type for a Range of Cells

Begin by selecting the range for which you want to change the data type. Right click on the range and select "Edit data type..." from the dropdown.

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Or, select the Edit data type button from the right hand side of the toolbar. Note that the icon will change depending on the range's current data type.

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Either option will open the Edit data type for [range] dialog, where you can select the cell's new data type from the "Type" field dropdown.

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Spreadsheet.com supports over 25 data types, each with their own configuration options. For more details, take a look at our Introduction to Data Types article and the accompanying articles on each data type.

Once you've specified the range's new data types and configured it to your needs, click the blue Update button in the bottom right corner of the dialog and the cells will update to reflect the new data type.

Undoing Changes

Like most other changes in Spreadsheet.com, you can undo a change in data type. To undo, either select Undo in the toolbar mceclip0.png or type Ctrl + Z (CMD + Z for Mac users). Undoing edits to a range of cell's data type will restore the range to its previous data type.

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Restrictions on Editing the Data Type for a Range of Cells

Changing a Cell in a Strict Range

Cells that are already part of a range of Strict cells can still be changed. When changing a cell like this, you will receive a warning message letting you know that one or more of the selected cells is part of a Strict range.

Changing Strict Columns

You cannot change cells in Strict columns without first changing the column's data validation. If you try to change the data type of cells in a Strict column, you will receive an error message and must change the column's data type settings and turn off "Strict" before you're able to continue.

Changing Cells in the Primary Column

Cells in the primary column are restricted to alphanumeric data types. If you change the data type of cells in the primary column, the data types available in the Edit data type dialog will be restricted to those only. If necessary, you can designate a different column as the primary column.

Converting Between Data Types

When changing data types, you may convert existing data to the new data type. For more information on how data of one type converts to another, see our article on Converting the Data Type of Existing Data.

Learn more about working with data types in our Introduction to Data Types, or read on to find out more about Converting the Data Type of Existing Data and Data Validation with Strict Columns and Cells.