Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Tip 61: Working with Credit Card Numbers
Working with Credit Card Numbers
If you’ve ever tried to enter a 16-digit credit card number into a cell, you may have discovered that
Excel always changes the last digit to a zero. Even worse, maybe you didn’t discover the changed
credit card number until it was too late.
Why does Excel change your numbers? The reason is that Excel can handle only 15 digits of
numerical accuracy.
Entering credit card numbers manually
If you need to store credit card numbers in a worksheet, you have three options:
Precede the credit card number with an apostrophe. Excel then interprets the data as a
text string rather than as a number.
Preformat the cell or range by using the Text number format. Select the range, choose
Home➜Number and then select Text from the Number Format drop-down control.
Enter the card number with dashes or spaces. Embedding a dash character (or any other
non-numeric character) forces Excel to interpret the entry as text.
This tip, of course, also applies to other long numbers (such as part numbers) that aren’t used in
numeric calculations.
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