Specifying the data type of a cell is a good way to format the data in a cell. You can use unique data types like the phone, dates, or attachment data types to add certain types of data to your cells.
Users may wish to edit a cell to a different data type than the column it is in. For instance, in a column of number cells, you may wish to feature a number from another workbook and include a related row lookup to display the number from a cell in another workbook. Cells can have different data types than the columns they are a part of, provided that column does not have strict data validation.
How to Edit a Cell's Data Type
To edit a cell's data type, start by selecting the cell to be edited, then right-click and select Edit data type. A dialog box will appear with the cell reference in the title, for instance, "Edit data type for C11".
From this dialog box, click on the data type drop-down and choose the data type you would like to edit the cell to.
Once you have selected your desired data type, click Update.
Additionally, you can select the cell to edit and use the Edit data type selector in the toolbar to access the Edit data type dialog box.
In the animation below, we have a cell in our table header that is incorrectly set to the currency data type. We demonstrate how to edit a cell's data, switch the date cell to the Date data type, and note how the data type indicator has changed to show the cell's changed date data type.
Changing a Cell in the Primary Column
Cells in the Primary Column are restricted to alphanumeric data types. If you try to change a cell from this column, you will see fewer data type options. However, if desired, you can change the primary column.
Converting Between Data Types
When changing data types, you may convert existing data to the new data type. Please see our article on Converting Between Data Types for more insight into how data of one type converts to another.
Like most other changes in Spreadsheet.com, you can undo a change in data type. To undo, either select Undo in the toolbar or type Ctrl + Z (CMD + Z for Mac users). Undoing edits to a cell's data type will restore the cell to its previous data type.