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Troubleshooting

Stopping Automatic Conversions

After importing data into a worksheet from text files and databases, I noticed that Excel converts some data to date serial values and other data to scientific notation. I want the information to appear in my worksheet exactly as it did in the database. Is there any way to change it back?

No, unfortunately. When Excel sees a value that looks like a date or time or scientific notation, either when you type a value into a cell or when you import a database, it converts the value automatically as you type or import. There is no way to reverse this conversion. If you have serial numbers that use the format ##X####, where each # is a number and the X is a letter, Excel converts any serial number that contains the letter E in that position to scientific notation. Your best option is to edit the text or database file, adding an apostrophe to the beginning of each field that contains values Excel will try to convert. In that case, Excel imports the data in text format exactly as it appears.


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