number formatted cell

If I am typing in 19 numbers in a cell (that has been formatted to number) to 
keep track of account numbers, it puts zeroes at the end and only 15 numbers 
are showing.  If I go into another cell and choose text first before typing 
and then type my numbers you can see all the numbers, but when I try to go 
and change the number formatted cell to text the number still does not change 
unless I retype the number.  Is this the way this works?
0
PamColeman (24)
6/2/2005 7:23:25 PM
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yes
excel only keeps track of the first 15 digits in a number,  if you entered 
more digits as a number,they are now lost.

"Pam Coleman" wrote:

> If I am typing in 19 numbers in a cell (that has been formatted to number) to 
> keep track of account numbers, it puts zeroes at the end and only 15 numbers 
> are showing.  If I go into another cell and choose text first before typing 
> and then type my numbers you can see all the numbers, but when I try to go 
> and change the number formatted cell to text the number still does not change 
> unless I retype the number.  Is this the way this works?
0
BJ (832)
6/2/2005 7:41:02 PM
yes... with floating point numbers the way most computers store them (at the 
level you and I would care not to think about ;-) )  space to store them is 
regimented.  I copied and pasted the definition of the double data type from 
excel VBA.  Generally speaking, a number in excel can hold 15 significant 
digits... 

so once you type in the number and excel determines it needs to be stored as 
a numeric, and digits after the 15th are gone.. truncated.

It sort of makes sense.. if you're doing a calculation with the number, any 
digit past the 16th would not impact the result much.  BUT it does make for 
the entry of numerics used for identification tricky.

My basic rule of thumb (in databases and spreadsheets ) is if you are NOT 
going to do a calculation with the number ( +, -, *, /  ) force it to be text.

hope this helps..




Double (double-precision floating-point) variables are stored as IEEE 64-bit 
(8-byte) floating-point numbers ranging in value from -1.79769313486231E308 
to -4.94065645841247E-324 for negative values and from 4.94065645841247E-324 
to 1.79769313486232E308 for positive values. The type-declaration character 
for Double is the number sign (#).


"Pam Coleman" wrote:

> If I am typing in 19 numbers in a cell (that has been formatted to number) to 
> keep track of account numbers, it puts zeroes at the end and only 15 numbers 
> are showing.  If I go into another cell and choose text first before typing 
> and then type my numbers you can see all the numbers, but when I try to go 
> and change the number formatted cell to text the number still does not change 
> unless I retype the number.  Is this the way this works?
0
TomHinkle (87)
6/2/2005 7:44:01 PM
Reply:

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