How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Stop Excel from changing large "numbers" (actually text values) to scientific notation.

Prevent Excel from changing large "numbers" (actually text values) to scientific notation.

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    Caleb shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    339 comments

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      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        what's this about a survey? did I miss another meeting?
        i thought this thread was about Scientific Notation...

      • Todd commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You need to fix your survey - many quesrtions ask to select all that apply, but the question format allows only 1 selection.

      • Henry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have been working professionally over 10 years now and I have needed scientific notation a total of 0 times in my entire life.

        Excel, how would you like it if while paying for the software, I presented my credit card number as 4.1542E+15? Not to mention the 16th digit is gone now.

        This is the biggest pain with Excel EVER. Can someone please fix this one day!? GEEZ.

      • Ryan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Vote #1228, comment #334. Why would anyone want excel to default to scientific notation. If I want that godawful format, I'll manually select it. This is such a pain. I don't know which programmer thought this was a good idea, but over a thousand people agree that this needs to change. How many more votes/comments do you need Microsoft?

      • Sean commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is the most infuriating thing about using Excel. I just point people to google sheets cause its easier than working around this behavior.

      • Jim Able commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        absolutely. the auto formatting of data based on sampling causes a lot of headaches. Numbers with leading zeros that need to be "text" are converted to numeric and stripped of the zeros. A simple pop up asking if conversion is desired would solve the problem.

      • Ed Hansberry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I see you've never talked to corporate lawyers before.

        And much like you have shot down my ideas on using Power Query which resolves about 95%-99% of the issues in this thread.

        Have a nice evening.

      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        you only have to clear the form when you are done, then it saves nothing.

        as for the legal issues, so then just talk to the lawyers to get permission. you are just shooting down valid ideas, although I appreciate your candor.

      • Ed Hansberry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You cannot put anyting on sheets taht isn't saved. It is automatically saved. You would have to close it, delete it, then empty the trash, and even then, not sure if there isn't a 2nd level trash can it is stored in for a while. Office 365 has that.

        And again, in a big corporation, permission for that involves lawyers, not your boss.

      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ed:
        that doesn't mean he can't get it approved.
        besides, i didn't tell him to just upload all the data of his place of employment. i said he might TRY Sheets to see if it would do what he needs. you don't have to save anything to try it out.

      • Ed Hansberry commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Some of you don't understand how large corporations work. An employee can get fired for putting company data on ANY unapproved cloud solution.

      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Corin: I wasn't going to say it, but yeah, I totally agree. when a website won't load for some reason, it is almost always IE or Edge the person is using.

      • Corin Dennison commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Richard that was a horrible example. You absolutely should use Chrome or Firefox instead of Explorer/Edge, and in my experience on both sides of this equation (developer/user), Explorer will have far more incompatibilities than either of the other two browsers I mentioned.

      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        it may not work for everyone, but how will you know if you don't try? and how can you try if you aren't aware of it?
        I'm aware it doesn't solve the Excel problem, but it offers an alternative in the interim, while waiting for Microsoft to get their act together.

      • Richard commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @I changed my name to zak: That is not a very productive solution - It would be like someone having problems using SharePoint in explorer/edge and being told to use chrome (sure the page might load faster but you add other incompatibilities)

        I have also had issues with pasting as text, it looks like a number but still converts the last 4 digits to zero's

      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        why? google's servers are secure. besides, you don't have to save the data to Sheets to view or manipulate it.

      • Ben Painter (Raitono) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I don't think Monsanto wants their sales data going through Google's servers. Pretty sure that it would be a contract violation or something as well.

      • totally NOT zak commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        @Ben Painter:
        if the format you're working with is CSV, Sheets does support that, and will both Import AND Export that format.
        there is no "conversion" per se, just when you want to save it back to your computer, you only have to click File > Download as > CSV
        in fact, it's much simpler to send it to somebody if you have Sheets, because you can send them a link to access it, and they can download it to their computer thru Sheets, since it is free to all, as long as you have a google account (which is also free). in fact, people who don't even have (or can't afford) Excel can still use Sheets, which makes it universally easier.

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