Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Techniques for entering data
Understanding numeric text entries
Sometimes you might want to type special characters that Excel does not normally treat as
plain text. For example, you might want +1 to appear in a cell. If you type +1 , Excel
interprets this as a numeric entry and drops the plus sign (as stated earlier). In addition, Excel
normally ignores leading zeros in numbers, such as 01234. You can force Excel to accept
special characters as text by using numeric text entries.
To enter a combination of text and numbers, such as G234, just type it. Because this entry
includes a nonnumeric character, Excel interprets it as a text value. To create a text entry
that consists entirely of numbers, you can precede the entry with a text-alignment prefix
character, such as an apostrophe. You can also enter it as a formula by typing an equal sign
and enclosing the entry with quotation marks. For example, to enter the number 01234
as text so that the leading zero is displayed, type either '01234 or ="01234" in a cell.
Whereas numeric entries are normally right-aligned, a numeric text entry is left-aligned in
the cell, just like regular text, as shown in Figure 6-10.
Figure 6-10 We typed the policy numbers in column A as text.
Text-alignment prefix characters, like formula components, appear in the formula bar but
not in the cell. Table 6-5 lists all the text-alignment prefix characters.
Only the apostrophe text-alignment prefix character always works with numeric or text
entries. The caret, backslash, and quotation mark characters work only if Transition
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