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How to Keep Leading Zeros in CSV File Format?

  1. #1
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    How to Keep Leading Zeros in CSV File Format?


    I am trying to have a column of numbers include leading zeros so they all contain six digits.

    Example Attached

    1. I want all numbers Column A to have six digits (if they already have 5 digits, add 1 leading zero, 4 digits = 2 leading zeroes, and so on).
    2. When I follow a website I found with tips for this process (highlight cells, format cells, category - custom, type 6 0's under type, click OK) - the format of the cell automatically changes to "Special", not custom).
    3. Then, when I close the file and re-open it, the numbers are back to the original digits (4 or 2 or whatever) and not the 6 digits with the leading zeros.

    Thank you for any help you can provide!


  2. #2
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    Re: How to Keep Leading Zeros in CSV File Format?

    crossposted: https://www.mrexcel.com/board/thread...ormat.1115942/

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  3. #3
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    Re: How to Keep Leading Zeros in CSV File Format?

    Exactly what are you trying to do here? I find that these questions usually fall into one of two camps:
    1) I have an Excel file, I want to save the file in a text or csv format where numbers are stored with 6 digits including leading zeros. This file then goes to another program.
    2) I have a text or csv file with 6 digit numbers including leading zeros. I need to import that into Excel and retain the leading zeros.

    In my experience, Excel does a good job when saving a text file of saving exactly as displayed. So, if you have cells formatted as "000000" (or similar which correctly displays the leading zeroes), then Excel will write that text to the text file when saving as csv/text. If saving the csv file is the main concern here, and reopening the file is trying to verify that Excel saved the text correctly, I recommend reopening in a text editor rather than Excel to see exactly what Excel saved. If viewing the file in a text editor reveals something incorrect in the way Excel saved the text file, then we would need to understand how you had it set up, what happened when Excel saved the text file, and what you need done differently.

    As noted by someone on the other board, csv/text files do not contain any Excel formatting information. Since Excel's first inclination is to interpret text as a number, when it opens a csv and sees 003456 in a field, it interprets it as a number and drops the leading zeros (as a number, there is not difference between 003456 and 3456). You as the user/programmer need to understand your import requirements well enough to tell Excel how to handle those fields on or after import. Exactly what that looks like depends in large part on what you are trying to do with these values in Excel.
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