Entering leading zeroes in Excel


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Main zeros are these pesky place-holding zero digits at first of a quantity. Sadly, whenever you enter such a worth, Excel applies the Normal numeric format and tosses out the main zero. Excel will not show or retailer the main zero digit (see the Formulation bar).

When these values are textual content — half numbers, ZIP codes, and so forth — you do not have an issue. Merely precede the worth with an apostrophe character (‘). You possibly can inform the worth is textual content as a result of it is left-aligned and you’ll see the apostrophe within the Formulation bar.


Typically, these entries are true numeric values and you’ll need to judge them in mathematical processes. When that is the case, you may drive Excel to show placeholder zero digits by making use of a customized format as follows:

  1. Choose the cell or vary in query.
  2. Proper-click the chosen cell or vary and select Format Cells from the context menu.
  3. Click on the Quantity tab.
  4. Select Customized from the Class listing.
  5. Within the Kind subject, enter the variety of 0s essential to accommodate the most important worth. As an illustration, if the most important worth comprises 4 digits, enter 4 0s.

6. Click on OK and Excel shows main values


Your customers can enter the main zero(s), or not — Excel will not care. Nonetheless, this specific format does not work with decimal values. In case you enter the worth .7, the format rounds the worth to 1. To accommodate decimal values, enter placeholders for the suitable variety of digits. As an illustration, in case your need Excel to show 4 digits to the left and two digits to the appropriate of the decimal, enter the customized format 0000.00.


SEE: Software program utilization coverage (Tech Professional Analysis)

A bonus Microsoft Excel tip

From the article 10 issues you must by no means do in Excel by Susan Harkins:

Destroy knowledge: Customers generally use the identical spreadsheet for brand spanking new knowledge by overwriting the prevailing knowledge. For instance, you may enter this week’s gross sales figures over final week’s—destroying final week’s knowledge. Within the brief run, this course of appears harmless sufficient, but when the info’s necessary sufficient to report, it is most likely necessary sufficient to maintain, a minimum of for some time. As an alternative of overwriting current knowledge, use a template to enter new knowledge and title the sheet or file appropriately. Hold your knowledge intact so you may seek advice from and consider it later, past its seemingly brief shelf life.

This bonus Excel tip can be obtainable within the free PDF 30 issues you must by no means do in Microsoft Workplace.

Editor’s observe on Feb. 14, 2019: This Excel article was first revealed in December 2009. Since then, now we have included a video tutorial, added a bonus tip, and up to date the associated assets.

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