Problem: I want to fill the blanks to the left of a number with asterisks like a check-printer would do.
Strategy: When you are entering a custom format, the asterisk symbol says to use the next character to fill the blanks in the cell. I realize this is really confusing, but using **0 tells Excel to use the second asterisk to fill to the left of the number with asterisks. Using *+ tells Excel to fill with plus signs. An asterisk with any character will fill with that character. As the cell gets wider, the number of repeating characters increases.
The ** can go after or before the digits. Column B shows the number format used to achieve the look in column A.
- Various repeating character formats.