Thursday, May 5, 2016

Leading Zeros

By default, when keying data with the first digit being a zero, Excel will always drop the leading zero (or series of zeros).  But suppose that you have a range of zip codes, account numbers, phone numbers, or other type of data – What do you do then?

Here are Three Different Ways to Handle this Type of Situation:

1.   Place an apostrophe (AKA a tick mark) initially, and then add the leading zero. 

2.   Format Cells by selecting Custom/Type:  Choose 10 zeros (if you have, for example,10-digit account numbers) and hit Okay.

3.   The third method (I recommend this for most cases…) is to format the cell range as Text.  This automatically corrects this potentially annoying problem.

That’s all there is to it!  The next time you want to keep your Leading Zeros, remember these simple tricks.

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