This is an Excel formatting problem that most of us have run into at some point. You want to enter a long number like 17897870708707312121212, and Excel shortens it to 1.79E+21. Example: when you’re entering tracking numbers to upload in Ordoro.
When Excel sees long numbers, it formats them as scientific notation (or the ‘E’ notation, to be precise). Even if you save the file as a CSV and open in a text editor, it will still display 1.79E+21.
This is an easy problem to fix. See below for how to update the cell formatting in three easy steps!
How to format Excel cells as Numbers
1. Select the cell(s) in Excel.
2. Click on Format->Cells from the top menu. Notice that Scientific formatting is chosen by default.
3. Select Number as the format, and set Decimal places to 0. Click OK to Save.
Why are there zeros at the end of my number even after formatting?
Sometimes, even after formatting, the long number will end with zeros instead of the actual numbers. For example:
- Original value: 17897870708707312121212
- Incorrect number: 17897870708707300000000
This happens because Excel and other spreadsheet programs will auto-format data. For more information and assistance, see these two links:
- Why does my exported CSV data get converted to weird formats?
- Import or export text (.txt or .csv) files
Here’s how to format it correctly:
- Ensure you have a file that has not been opened in Excel before.
- If you have, delete the file and download it again.
- Once you open a file in Excel, and Excel adds the trailing zeros, the correct value is lost.
- Open the file in a different application. We have used Google Sheets or Numbers on Mac.
- Format the appropriate column to Number (as seen in step 3 above).
- Choose an option to Download/Export to Excel. See the screenshot below.
- Open the file in Excel and repeat the top three steps above, as necessary.
- Be sure to save the file!
If you need further assistance, please feel free to email email@example.com.