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Formatting Excel Data
by rob

If you’ve ever entered numbers into an Excel spreadsheet that starts with zeros, you have probably noticed they’ve gone missing. For example, if you’ve got a part number 000123 and you type it into a cell, Excel removes the first three zeros by default. It’s a frustrating thing for anyone that has part numbers or other data that has those doughnut-shaped placeholders.

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Format > Cells

The solution is to tell Excel how to format the cell. Go to Format > Cells... which will bring up the Format Cells dialogue box. Under the Category list, select Custom. Then, in the Type box, enter as many zeros as needed to fill out your data. For the example above, you’d put in 000000.

The same technique can be used to add letters to your data automatically. By using a custom format of \S000000, the example would show S000123.

Want colors? Use brackets to define which color you want. [Blue]\S000000 will display S000123.

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