Numbers show instead of text

I entered text into some cells, and it shows up as numbers.  What do I do?
0
Mcoste (1)
10/7/2006 9:36:02 PM
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What sort of text?

Where is it entered?

What type of numbers?

A small example would be nice.


Gord Dibben  MS Excel MVP

On Sat, 7 Oct 2006 14:36:02 -0700, Mcoste <Mcoste@discussions.microsoft.com>
wrote:

>I entered text into some cells, and it shows up as numbers.  What do I do?

0
Gord
10/7/2006 10:12:34 PM
It sounds like you have the data formatted for numeric in the first row of 
that column.

Select the problem cells, right click, select format cells, and select 
Number type of "General".

Good Luck!

"Mcoste" wrote:

> I entered text into some cells, and it shows up as numbers.  What do I do?
0
10/9/2006 9:34:02 PM
"Mcoste" wrote:
> I entered text into some cells, and it shows up as numbers.  What do I do?

Do you mean "what do I do now?", or do you mean "how do I avoid this in the 
future?".

For "what do I do now?", the answer depends on whether or not the "numbers" 
were changed when you entered the text.  If the displayed cell contents look 
exactly as you intended (except perhaps for alignment), you can simply change 
the cell format to Text by clicking on Format > Cells > Number and selecting 
Text.  However, if the "numbers" were changed (e.g. a 20-character string of 
digits is changed to a rounded value usually of the form 1.23457E+17), it is 
too late to correct the situation.  You must re-enter the "numbers" as text; 
see the next paragraph for instructions.

For "how do I avoid this in the future?", there are two ways.  IMHO, the 
"best" method is to type a single-quote (') before the "number"; for example, 
'12345678901234567890.  The single-quote will not be displayed, but it is 
part of the cell content.  It tells Excel to treat the subsequent characters 
as text, no matter what they look like.  Alternatively, with forethought, you 
can format the cell as Text before entering the "number".  In my experience, 
that is error-prone because eventually the format will be changed unbeknownst 
to you because of some action that you take (e.g. deleted the column or row 
that contains the cell and forgetting to reassert the Text format).  On the 
other hand, it might be the only way to ensure that cut-and-paste data 
(devoid of the single-quote prefix) are treated as Text.

HTH
0
10/9/2006 11:16:01 PM
Reply:

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