How To Stop Excel From Changing Numbers

Excel is a powerful tool that is highly versatile for data analysis and management. However, it can sometimes be a little too smart for its own good. A common issue that many users face is Excel automatically changing the format of certain numbers. For example, long numbers are converted into scientific notation, or leading zeros are removed from numbers. While Excel does this to make data more readable, it can cause issues if the original format of the data is important. In this blog post, we will show you how to stop Excel from changing your numbers.

Preventing Excel from Removing Leading Zeros

When you enter a number with leading zeros, Excel will automatically remove these zeros. To prevent this, you can format the cells to Text before entering the data. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Select the cells where you want to input numbers with leading zeros.
  2. Right-click the selected cells and choose Format Cells.
  3. In the Format Cells dialog box, select Text, and then click OK.

Now, when you enter numbers with leading zeros in these cells, Excel will keep the zeros.

Preventing Excel from Converting Long Numbers to Scientific Notation

Excel will automatically convert long numbers (numbers with more than 11 digits) to scientific notation. To prevent this, you can format the cells as Text just like we did for leading zeros, or you can use the ‘ in front of your number.

Here’s the code snippet:


By adding a single quote (‘) before your number, Excel will now treat this as text and keep the number as is.


While Excel’s automatic formatting can be handy, it can also be a nuisance when dealing with specific kinds of data. By understanding how to control Excel’s formatting, you can ensure your data is displayed exactly how you want it to be. We hope this guide was helpful in assisting you to stop Excel from changing your numbers.