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returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

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    returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Hi,
    I'm going crazy over an excel sheet in which I have numbers like 9/10. They're actually not fractions or anything, I just need them to stay the way they are while replacing in some of them \ with /. For some reason when I use ctrl F to replace all, the changed ones turn to numbers like 411960 or to a date when I try it manually. Obviously, I messed around with the format but nothing seems to work. I've tried basically every format and everything I can think of for the last couple of hours (I've even looked at control panel with regional and language options) but I can't get the stupid things to stay the way they are!

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    you need to format cells as text BEFORE entering any data
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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Format cells as text then enter your numbers.

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Thanks for your suggestions. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding but what I've done is: open a new workbook, select all --> format as text --> paste in my data (which is huge, so no option of manually re-entering it). If I then check how it sees the the data it does say 'text'. When I then try to do ctrl F to replace the wrong '\' with '/', they pop up as dates! and they've also changed the format to dates automatically!

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Prepare your sheet by formatting as text.

    Copy your source data and paste into word.

    Ctrl h to replace \ with / then copy the edited data from word.

    In excel right click, pastespecial > text.

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    I think the best way would probably be with VBA but I'm a novice with that so here's a more convoluted way. Let's say your data is pasted in A1:A10000
    In B1 (or any open column)
    ="''&A1 (that's a double quote followed by a single quote followed by a double quote)
    Copied down
    Copy Column B and paste special Values back into A
    Find and replace \ with /
    Now, if you still see a single quote in front of your numbers (you may not)
    Find and replace ' with nothing
    Does that work for you?
    ChemistB
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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Yes!!! Finally, you are awesome :D. You saved my computer from being thrown out of the window.

    ---------- Post added at 04:00 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:59 PM ----------

    Talking to JasonB...Although I'm sure your method would've worked as well .

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    I concur, Jason is awesome.

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Quote Originally Posted by ChemistB View Post
    I concur, Jason is awesome.
    I wish lol.

    I spent several hours searching for this a couple of years ago, and the last hour trying to remember how to do it again.

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    Re: returning date instead of number (format doesn't work)

    Paste as text would be a nice Paste Special option.

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