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zak again

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  1. 541 votes
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    Thanks for the suggestion Jessica. We’ve got a few other suggestions on the site that are similar with scientific notation, etc. We’ll take a look at this area, and pay special attention to any cases that get a lot of votes. So please keep the votes coming to help us do a good job at prioritizing asks like this!

    Cheers,
    John [MS XL]

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    zak again commented  · 

    @john:
    either i don't understand what you are saying, or you don't understand how OpenOffice works.
    why CAN'T you just use OpenOffice and ditch MS Office? you said you need to update existing spreadsheets that you've made...well, OpenOffice can do that. you can open ANY Excel spreadsheet with no problems.
    the only difference is that it will only save as the old XLS files and not XLSX format, but the content is the same. and it DOES open XLSX files no problems.
    the only potential issue might be with some proprietary Excel stuff (other than just data in a spreadsheet) that only Excel can do, but 99.9% of users don't even use/need that stuff.
    if you need it, then i can see why, but otherwise, am i missing something?

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Vashek:
    click the cell in the top left corner, above "1", and to the left of "A".
    right-click any cell.
    click Format, and change the format to Text.
    now simply save this as book.xltx (Excel Template File *.xltx) in the following directory:
    C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART
    or wherever your XLSTART directory is.
    Excel will never change your text to numbers again.
    ...at least till the next update.

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    zak again commented  · 

    don't you know, D? "advanced users" use Macs! lol
    seriously though, i have found that MOST of the "simpler users" have never even used Excel. they had no idea what it did, what it was for, or how to use it.
    honestly, i'm not sure I know anymore...

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    zak again commented  · 

    it took the addition of code to try to "outsmart" users.
    but apparently, trying to remember where they put that code is not easy.

    i will say this only once: no program that i trust will try to change the data i give it.

    Microsoft lost what little trust i had for them. i am now happily using OpenOffice, or Google Sheets when i need to share it, as the other user does not need to even have any program installed to view it!

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    zak again commented  · 

    @noLongerAnon: the problem was, being anonymous means you didn't vote. that was all.
    @Roy: i've never been good at accepting training, especially of the Pavlovian style. i'm already using Gdocs whenever i run into this issue. it's just hard for those situations where no internet is available.
    @Mr. Dent: see Roy's comments.
    yes i realize i'm playing both sides of the fence. it's how to survive in a world where companies don't care about our needs.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Anonymous: why don't you stop being anonymous and vote HERE where we have a forum that Microsoft checks, instead of trying to have us retweet something?

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    zak again commented  · 

    agreed. auto-ANYTHING is annoying, because it never reads my mind.
    indeed, what kind of super-genius uses "seconds since 1970" as a way to type dates in?
    if this was kept, there should at least be an "OFF" button for it.

    zak again supported this idea  · 
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  2. 1,894 votes
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    zak again commented  · 

    @Leigh:
    seconded.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Jim:
    lol. too true (sadly).

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Futski:
    why so hostile? like i said, it was just a suggestion.

    besides, if it is a small enough organization that it cannot justify writing web code for a modicum of files, then how could it possibly have anything against Google Docs, which is free?

    your post said "Corporate software standards and licensing", so i guess i thought you were talking about a big enterprise with lots of data transactions.

    my "solution" is not a perfect fit for every scenario. i just try to offer advice where i think it can be helpful.

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    zak again commented  · 

    agreed. and thank you.

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    zak again commented  · 

    i'm with Roy. people have used Excel for so long, that they expect to be able to use it for everything, so "everything better work with it!"

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    zak again commented  · 

    geez, you guys are acting like i spit in your face.

    also, sorting data, filtering it, and summing totals are all things PHP does seemlessly with some minor code. even Wikipedia has a sort function for their tables: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_relational_database_management_systems

    and you could still use Excel while you're waiting for the codemonkeys to do their thing. they wouldn't need to build a backend database, as you could just link the existing SQL database.

    i just thought that if Excel is giving you such a headache, i would offer a solution. sorry to have upset you.

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    zak again commented  · 

    i guess i don't see the difference between paying somebody to make Excel vs paying somebody to make a web interface. especially if you happen to have a tech department with someone who already knows how to code it...
    P.S., i'm not knocking spreadsheet software, just reminding that there is another option.

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    zak again commented  · 

    if you're talking about PUBLIC use of the web, then you should not discount the public use of Excel, which was not really until the 90's, when it came FREE with many computers. even at that point, most users didn't know what it was, and didn't end up using it for a while.
    but the world wide web was in use in the early 90's (mostly in larger cities), and really ramped up around 1993, with the advent of the Mosaic web browser.

    but anyways, what Excel calls spreadsheets, the web calls "tables" (in fact, SQL calls them tables as well). anything you can do in Excel can now be done on the web. it is the world's RELIANCE on Excel that has gotten us in this pickle.

    and honestly, if a company can pay to have Excel installed on all their computers (which these days is an annual fee), surely they can afford to pay a web developer a ONE-TIME fee to set up a more user-friendly option that won't corrupt your data.

    or just learn it yourself. 5 years ago i didn't know PHP, and now i'm building web sites and interfaces for my work. it really isn't that hard, once you get used to it. especially if you already know HTML.

    if you still doubt it, realize that Google Docs did this very thing!

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Karen Grube:
    if Futski is correct, then keep in mind that what you have is NOT an Excel file, but a CSV file, which is program agnostic. your computer may be set up to open it with Excel, but i assure you that a great many other programs can open it, including Notepad. in fact, you may want to consider using Google Docs, as it can handle CSVs without causing the SciNot issue.

    @Futski:
    ALL of the things you mention can be solved simply by employing a PHP web page (or web site) to manage your SQL output.

    in fact, you can even do the macro functions, though they will obviously use different code.

    as for your #4, i would say that websites have been around longer than Excel, and are FAR more prevalent and accepted. not every business has Excel, but EVERYBODY can access a website!

    most websites in existence use PHP and SQL together, so it is definitely the de facto standard. probably even your company!

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    zak again commented  · 

    if those scientists were so smart, they would know better than to trust a Micro$oft program with their data.
    they could've just used G-Docs...

    and are we really still trusting The Verge after the PC Building fiasco last year?

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    zak again commented  · 

    yeah, i was actually referencing a George Carlin bit.
    somebody was freaking out and he said those words.
    i didn't expect anyone to get it, but i didn't even know dip had another meaning!

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Roy:

    calm...down...
    have some dip.

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    zak again commented  · 

    if you look back to the first post, it refers to opening CSV files, and having the data changed, which in turn forces us to use the Import Wizard instead of just opening the file like any other supposedly supported file in Excel.

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    zak again commented  · 

    WHY ARE YOU GUYS YELLING???

    oh yeah...it's annoying. nevermind.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Futski:
    really? then explain this:
    https://pichost.net/img/x-cell.tVw6C

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Jason, i think you got that email address wrong. try this one for the CEO:
    sa tan @microsoft.com (ignore the gaps. the things they censor...)
    that would certainly explain our issues with it ;)

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    zak again commented  · 

    i want proof that this was actually "started".
    PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!
    lol

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    zak again commented  · 

    i understand that. but the problem is not just an exponent. it is the whole "Scientific Notation" thing in the first place.
    unless that was just a joke that i didn't get. i am pretty dense, y'know ;p

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Sharon: who said anything about exponents? are you sure you posted on the right page...

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    zak again commented  · 

    MS actually USE Scientific Notation.
    that's why their numbers are always wrong, lol

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Jane Doe:
    what i'm saying is, your workaround doesn't change the fact that the numbers saved will not be accurate. Excel, even though it SAYS it is in Number format, is still truncating data, just like it does in SN mode. any number higher than 15 chars is reduced to rubbish, and no longer accurate. the Scientific Notation thing is annoying enough, without Excel changing our data.

    THAT is why he was saying to set it to Text instead of Number format. in Text format, your data is more safe...

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    zak again commented  · 

    okay then Jane, and when you save it as number format, with numbers longer than 15 digits, close Excel and reopen the file. congratulations! your number has been truncated, thanks to Microsoft Excel...

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    zak again commented  · 

    You cannot really blame Microsoft. They just did what ALL drug pushers do. They gave the product away for free, and got people hooked on it. Then, they started charging for it, after people developed systems built around it, and integrated it into their lives.

    And of course, to PROFIT off of it, they started CUTTING the Office programs with FILLER and FLUFF, like Scientific Notation, and Autoconversion garbage, so that they could justify a "new release" of "Office Whatever-Year-This-Happens-To-Be". And when that wasn't enough money for them, they pushed subscriptions, so that you can only get your fix if you pay a monthly (read: "annual") fee.

    And now we're so damaged by the filler we can't even function properly. PLEASE stop the auto-SN madness...

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    zak again commented  · 

    it all went downhill after they started charging subscriptions...

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    zak again commented  · 

    what about when people complain that their 1TB drive can't hold their 900GB file?

    lol.

    i realize it doesn't have anything to do with Excel, i was just telling him not to expect accuracy from a company with a historical lack of it.

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, but now that SI is the standard, shouldn't MS update their code? surely one of the dozens of updates i get each week should cover that...
    this is what i mean by "inaccurate".

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    zak again commented  · 

    well, he said he just wanted it to be accurate. i'm saying, accuracy is not a big thing with them, in my experience.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Leigh:
    need i say it again? you know Windows is set so that a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes.
    google "megabyte" and "mebibyte" sometime and see what i mean...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Jon:
    even if MS gives us the choice NOT to auto-switch to SN, a "standard number" won't likely be an option, at least not immediately.

    this is due to the "15 digits of precision" they are so proud of, which is apparently embedded deeply in their code(?)

    the best you could hope for is to set the digits as text whenever there were more than 15 of them.

    text, for some reason, never gets altered...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i'll be honest, i still use Excel for some things (since i already bought it), but some things i have to use Google Sheets for now, if i want them to work properly. but it's hard to recommend Excel anymore, when it doesn't "just work" under every circumstance...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i agree wholeheartedly with Chris Hunt & Lee. it's becoming a hassle to use Excel.
    if somebody types in 15+ very distinct numbers, odds are good they wanted them there. and if not, they could always MANUALLY change them to display as Scientific Notation.

    i've said it before, but i HATE it when programs try to outsmart me. if you want to make it helpful, and you absolutely HAVE to do some smart BS in the background, why not PRESERVE my data by making it a text field instead? i was using Excel to organize text LONG before i learned to use it for numbers, and if it can't hold longer numbers, i'd be quite fine with making them text instead...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Roy: not sure what your point is. though to be honest, i stopped reading after the first three paragraphs.
    no offense, but i don't think anyone here is optimistic about it ever being dealt with. it's why we keep complaining (and why you see new complaints at least weekly here).

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    zak again commented  · 

    seconded Bruce. i think Patrick Henry gets how we all feel.

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    zak again commented  · 

    "Search"? don't they already have "Find"?
    was "Find" not sufficient?

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    zak again commented  · 

    he could have just scrolled up and read the top of the screen, just under the request.
    still, a year is a long time for a major company with the kinds of resources MS has. as many stupid useless updates as they've done to Windows 10 (which most people will never use) they couldn't do this one update to Excel? i get Excel updates almost every month, and have yet to see this change implemented.
    we aren't asking to REMOVE Scientific Notation, just to have an option NOT to change our data...

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    zak again commented  · 

    wow...you can say unfuck but not plain old ****.
    good to know...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Futski:
    don't talk to MS about doing things right. they have everyone believing a megabyte is 1024 kilobytes...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Anonymous: i'm sure there are some statistician/scientists who DO use Scientific Notation, however, statistically speaking, think of the number of them compared to the rest of the world.
    it is probably right on par with the @ProfessorMickelson estimate.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Anonymous: nice.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Greg:
    you can do that with CSV as well. the point is, we shouldn't HAVE to...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Scott:
    clearly they're being paid by the hour...

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    zak again commented  · 

    YEEEEEEEAHHH!

    .....*ahem* i mean, yes. as you can see, it's not just me :)

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    zak again commented  · 

    more like Return of the Jedi, lol

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    zak again commented  · 

    i personally don't like it when Excel AUTOMATICALLY does anything. i would prefer that, if the situation arose for such an option, it would pop up and ASK me what i would like to do.
    doing things that may not be helpful is...not helpful.
    especially for those of us who actually KNOW what they are doing, and what they WANT to do.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Anonymous2: Google Docs saves files as xlsx (Excel) files as an option.
    and nobody here saw anything ;)

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Anonymous1: if you prepend numbers with an apostrophe ('), it will treat it as text, and not show the apostrophe in Excel.
    of course, this is a massive pain in the neck to deal with if you must export the data again...

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    zak again commented  · 

    handy trick, but it doesn't change the fact that Excel alters CSVs when you open them.
    and to reiterate what has already been said, NO program should alter data without consulting the user.
    i am very sick of software that tries to outsmart me. especially when i already know what i'm doing (in most cases at least). if they want to change things, they should at the very least consult me FIRST, or at best, give me an option in preferences to decide how i want it to treat such data.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Anonymous: 5 months actually, but this thread was started over 3 years ago...

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    zak again commented  · 

    at the very least, Excel should be ASKING when you open a non-Excel file (like CSV) to see how users want to open it (e.g., use Scientific Notation or mark all as text).
    i can't imagine a world where changing user data without asking was acceptable.

    on a side note, you know, it would really make Excel 2019 seem like something worth upgrading to if you fixed this for it, since it has no major changes from 2016...

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    zak again commented  · 

    "too slow" must mean you are scanning directly into Excel?
    if that is the case, open a new Excel spreadsheet, select all cells (top left button) and change their format to Text.
    save as an Excel Template (.xltx) and name it "book".
    then move the saved file to:
    %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART\
    the next time you start Excel, it should start with that template, and not use SN.

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    zak again commented  · 

    doesn't sound like Office is being very compliant, at this moment at least. you could always bring it up at a Board Meeting...

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    zak again commented  · 

    to reiterate, i would love to see them fix Excel, but in the interim, Docs is a quaint alternative.

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    zak again commented  · 

    i think you underestimate end users. all you need to use Google Docs is what most people already have: a Google Account. it's free, and if your company uses G Suite already, it should already be set up from the get-go for all employees.
    If they can handle Gmail, they can handle Docs. our users do, and they have trouble with all manner of "tech stuff".
    Of course, as Lee mentioned, Docs cannot do EVERYTHING that Excel can, but it does many things that Excel currently cannot...

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    zak again commented  · 

    have you tried using Google Docs?

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    zak again commented  · 

    pretty much what i said, basically ;)

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    zak again commented  · 

    as a workaround, i always pre-format all cells to TEXT format, before i start using Excel.
    sad, and should be unnecessary, but it works for me.

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    zak again commented  · 

    that's a great workaround, but might be kind of tricky in countries where acute letters take more work to type. and it really SHOULD be unnecessary. i'm just sick of software trying to "outsmart" me. i'm smart enough to know when i want my data set a certain way, i will just set it that way myself...

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, that was one of the nice things about Excel, was that you didn't HAVE to know or use all of the things Excel CAN do, you can use it for simple things, too...

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    zak again commented  · 

    "missing" zeroes? i think you mean "extra" zeroes, or "replacement" zeroes, lol

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Laeark: maybe there should be a "default setting" in Options for that, too...

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    zak again commented  · 

    the squeakiest wheel, eh? well, i guess it took over 1300 squeaky wheels :D
    yes, thanks. can't wait to see how this is implemented.

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    zak again commented  · 

    you know, you anonymouses (anonymice?) seem to all be saying exactly the same thing as the rest of us have said a million times thus far.
    i understand the desire for anonymity, but people are going to think you are NOT unique individuals if you don't make it official with your email address...

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    zak again commented  · 

    hopefully, Mr. Anonymous, you voted above, and are not just blindly ranting obscenities here...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i'm personally really sick of technology that tries to "outsmart" us. people who aren't aware of it often get confused, and those of us who ARE aware of it often don't need or don't use it.

    it should be OFF by default, and can be turned on if we feel the need to dig deeper...

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    zak again commented  · 

    well, if an Anonymous asks, it MUST be so...

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    zak again commented  · 

    yeah, you know, if they don't want to make Excel work for us, maybe they could add another program to Office that will do what the rest of us want...just saying.

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    zak again commented  · 

    and after importing into Excel and saving, the data becomes corrupted, despite being seen as text in Excel...

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    zak again commented  · 

    that's a valid thought David. i mean, if somebody was ACTUALLY using Scientific Notation, don't you think they would actually type it out as 6.352E+13 , as opposed to typing out a long string that will ultimately be truncated?
    it seems to me that Microsoft is merely taking the shortcut from actual coding by just taking any long number and truncating it...
    also, i vote that we call it "S.cientE+17" from now on, since people will obviously be able to tell what that means...because who doesn't prefer truncated information to the actual data?

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    zak again commented  · 

    yeah, I realize that 1,248 doesn't sound like much, compared to how many people there are in the world, but not EVERYBODY uses Excel.
    and if you want to pull MORE people to use it, why not make it useful, instead of useless?

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    zak again commented  · 

    indeed, Todd. and we assume that our data will not be corrupted, because, other than being changed to SN, there is no indicator when opening a CSV that the data will be altered.
    there is no popup that states "WARNING: your data will be truncated after 15 characters, and converted to a non-text format, just for being so long."
    i mean, can Excel TRULY say that it supports CSV files if it doesn't adhere to the standards they use?
    what other program would you EXPECT your data to be altered without warning???

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, but it should be COMPLETELY unnecessary, if Excel would just see that it is a CSV, and not treat it the way it does every other Excel file...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i agree with Corin. one of the nice things about Excel has always been that it can be as simple or complex as you need it. i was using it for plaintext spreadsheets LONG before i learnt the more advanced features, and many people who use it do not know computer technology well, and would be tripped up by having to use some 3rd party addon that isn't on all versions of Excel, just to do something that it seems obvious should be simple to do.
    leave the complicated addons to the more advanced users who are familiar with them, and just program Excel to not alter data after it is entered or opened...

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    zak again commented  · 

    that's what i'm saying. just change how many digits it stores, and then display however you want...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i just thought of something: you know how Excel can store data in cells, but display differently? well couldn't the cells be programmed to store the original data, but then just DISPLAY as Scientific Notation?
    then, at least the original typed data would be intact, and if the user decided to use the SN data, they could...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @AK
    lol...true, true.

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, typical MS. I've always said they don't know how people use computers.
    i mean, just look at Windows: they hide the Start button, they hide file extensions, they hide the option to create a Local Account instead of a Microsoft Account...
    but i digress.

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    zak again commented  · 

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

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    zak again commented  · 

    i'm clearly missing your point.

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    zak again commented  · 

    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.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @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.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @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.

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    zak again commented  · 

    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.

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    zak again commented  · 

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

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    zak again commented  · 

    @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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    zak again commented  · 

    yes Ben, but if the standard doesn't work, shouldn't you try something that might?
    if a phillips screwdriver doesn't fit, maybe it's time to try a flathead?

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    zak again commented  · 

    Ben, have you tried Google Sheets?
    also, remember to vote!

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    zak again commented  · 

    actions speak louder than words. when their sales drop, they will look to this page and see why...

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    zak again commented  · 

    saying "Excel screwed up my long numbers" and "I'm switching to Sheets" is indeed useful, as it is an alternative to the problems at hand. i also don't see how it is any less useful than the workarounds suggested here, as it does offer a potential solution to the problems mentioned, even if that solution is with another program.

    and if a Microsoft rep DOES visit this page (even occasionally), they will undoubtedly SEE the hordes of comments about people leaving to start using other software, and then perhaps will realize what a problem they have. if their software is no longer meeting the needs of their users, they will eventually no longer be their users...

    i know it doesn't seem like these comments are useful, but in the big picture, they help convey the message that this page was designed for: they let people know that the issue of data being changed is really that serious.

    also, people are unlikely to spend a ton of hours in a program that is hard to use for their purposes. just because someone doesn't use Excel as thoroughly, often, or even in the same way as you do, does not make their opinion any less important here.

    as i mentioned before, Excel has become the de facto standard in the world of Spreadsheets, having supplanted Lotus 1-2-3 so many years ago. nearly every major business uses it and pays people top dollar to "make it work" for their needs. and most of the time, it is only because they are unaware of other options, or because companies are not willing to risk the chance that their data sheets may not be compatible with alternative software, or that once they switch they may not be able to switch back.

    so hearing people say "hey, I tried Sheets and it did what I needed" is actually a helpful thing to the people here. it may not DIRECTLY help get the "data corruption" issue fixed in Excel, but it will help PEOPLE, and i find that far more nobler, even if it is done in a somewhat childish way.

    i know that many of the comments here have upset you, but that is the nature of the open forum. i don't agree with the way some of the statements were worded (even the ones defending my point of view), but i would "defend to the death their right to say it". my only goal is to be understood, and to spread greater understanding...

    lastly, i'm not sure what you mean by Excel becoming "dummified" and the taking out of features. all we really want is an OPTION. some way to CHOOSE how Excel will work for us. that way, EVERYONE can be happy :)

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    zak again commented  · 

    @firstAnonymous:
    once it is in Scientific Notation, switching it back to a number will not fix it. it will always have those adversarial trailing zeroes...
    you'll just have to retype the number, which sucks.

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    zak again commented  · 

    SSMS is a Microsoft program, too, right? why would they NOT have it output data that can be reused?

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    zak again commented  · 

    I think the point here is, we all have our specialties, and we shouldn't have to learn NEW ones just to do something as simple as opening a file without having Excel change the data arbitrarily.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    speaking of Notepad (another of MSFT's babies), it cannot even handle basic text files properly!
    you take a plain text file that was made on Linux and open it in Notepad and it fails to see the carriage returns. always has, since the very first Windows release. and yet, WordPad (also made by MSFT) CAN and DOES see them! wtf?!? even FREE Notepad replacements can see them, so why not the flagship plaintext editor? why has that problem STILL never been dealt with?

    just saying, this is the kind of mindset we are working against here...

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    zak again commented  · 

    so switching to Google Sheets is like giving up and going back to paper, eh? now who's griping, lol

    actually, I liked your idea about a new way to paste data in. perhaps they could do what they do for text in Word, where there are multiple Paste options when you right click an empty cell, it would let you choose the type of data?

    anywayz, while I will give you that there are some things Excel CAN do that Sheets maybe can't do as well, and extra features and things, there are also things that OTHER programs can do that Excel cannot, and them being FREE programs, why would we NOT, if we do not NEED the extra "fluff"? opinions are NOT worthless, they are what this site is about. why else would you have a comments section, but to contribute your opinion.

    as MDL mentioned, it is unclear whether or not MSFT even peruses these boards anymore, since the problem has gone on for so long. in that case, why not share our woes? that, TOO, is a part of this site...

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, it certainly seems that way.

    i must also add, i've never felt like MSFT really knew how people use their software (Windows included). i mean, if they really knew what people wanted, Windows 8 would never have happened...

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    zak again commented  · 

    perhaps Danny B. works for MSFT?

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    zak again commented  · 

    not sure what you're talking about Danny Boy (wait, that name almost made sense...)?
    the "Google User" was only implying that Microsoft only cares about making money, not improvements, and that users are going to figure out that there are other options out there.
    he wasn't saying you're stupid, just that everybody HAS been defaulting to Excel as the de facto standard, which is true.

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    zak again commented  · 

    *lol at previous poster's username*

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Scott:
    i agree completely. there should be a toggle in the Options somewhere.

    i use more of the advanced functions than the average user, but even i have yet to find a use (personally) for Scientific Notation. it does seem very niche to me.

    and i too always set all my fields as text, even the ones with numbers in it (although it leaves those annoying corner arrows). at least THAT WAY i know Excel won't futz with my numbers...

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    zak again commented  · 

    Excel HAS a CSV import option.
    what we are talking about here is a FIX, so we don't HAVE to make special efforts to remember to do things a certain way, when we use Excel the SAME WAY EVERY TIME, and since it seems not many people use SN (or not as many as MS thinks).

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    zak again commented  · 

    everyone here should be forwarding this link to all people in their office! by YOUR VOTES we can be heard! this just jumped 18 more votes in the last 5 days!
    spread the word

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    zak again commented  · 

    as for it breaking users' existing setups, that is why we would only be making it an OPTION, that could be turned on or off and REMEMBERED for any subsequent uses of the program...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    I believe that what people are saying is, what you are offering is not so much a "solution" as it is a "stopgap". it works for some situations, but it is really just extra steps when it would (should?) be SOOO much easier just to add an option in Excel to NOT "assume" anything, and NOT try to outsmart the user.
    and with as many users as want it (think of all the frustrated users that don't know this page exists!), i would think it should be at the top of the list of things to change.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    every time they "update" Windows, Microsoft breaks somebody's "working system".
    but they do it, and people just keep using the old version for such purposes.
    and you're right, this IS how it has worked for decades. people have been putting up with this issue for DECADES, with still no sign of a resolution (short of using different software).
    people called the Native "Americans" Indians for literally centuries, it doesn't mean it was correct.
    and i hate to break this to you, but if Google Docs can make it work and it is FREE, what are we paying hundreds of dollars for Office when it only causes us grief?
    you MUST appease the majority to succeed, and few people who use Excel use Scientific Notation. far more are the idiots and average users, who are just trying to get through another day of work with as little stress as possible, and this isn't helping.
    I'm not asking for a complete rewrite, just a program option to turn this "feature" off. that way, people could CHOOSE the default action of their software...it doesn't seem like it would be that hard to do, and that way it wouldn't "break" anybody's "models".
    any "professional" who is using Microsoft's software, I pray for, because Microsoft is probably the LEAST "professional" company I can think of...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    and how would you feel if that number were expressed as 1.00E+00 ?

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    zak again commented  · 

    also, having just looked up the possible purposes for Scientific Notation, it seems they are all rooted in scientific fields (hence the name).
    however, i find it hard to believe that a field of Science, which is known for its accuracy and logic, would use an inaccurate number to do its math. this goes against the very NATURE of math.
    especially since, the main reason for SN seems to be to make numbers that are easier for the human brain to process...but Excel is a computer program, and as such should have no problems managing large sums (by comparison with humans). i can see SN as a type of mathematical "shorthand", but NOT when you have the ABILITY to manage the precise numbers.
    again, for computer use, this seems like a niche usage. perhaps for numbers larger than 30 digits it might seem logical, but if you have a computer to manage the number, it would seem logical that if a person WANTED a scientific notation as a result, they might have typed it that way in the first place, since it would be easier to type?
    just saying.

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    zak again commented  · 

    i hope you all are voting...

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    zak again commented  · 

    the worst part about it is that it CAN be done, because other software has done it...why a big company like Micro$oft can't get their act together is beyond me.
    sometimes i feel like they just enjoy torturing users...

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    zak again commented  · 

    Scientific Notation serves a purpose, but it is a very niche purpose, and not used nearly as much as "just plain text".
    I only wish they would stop trying to make Excel "outsmart" us...

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    zak again commented  · 

    P.S., I hope I'm wrong, but with Micro$oft's track record...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i hate to be the pessimist in the group, but it sounds to me like this will take my 5-digit machine code string in my CSV file, and interpret it as a zip code, and pull worthless data I neither want nor need from the internet.
    why can't they stop trying to get Excel to "outsmart" us and just let it display information, like a NORMAL program?
    you have to PROGRAM that "smart" functionality in. why can't they just add another option to turn OFF "smart" functionality...?

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    zak again commented  · 

    also, I just have to say, it STILL confuses me how Excel can handle tens of thousands of columns, and millions of rows of data, but truncates anything over 15 characters...

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    zak again commented  · 

    you know, before Excel became top dog, Lotus 1-2-3 was poised to be the major contender.
    it makes sense that people (like those on this list) will start switching to Google Sheets en masse, if Microsoft doesn't fix Excel's issues.

    it is only slightly inconvenient to have to have internet to use Sheets, but it is worth it, considering the difference in the price between Excel and sheets (~$150+ vs. free).

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    zak again commented  · 

    Excel has undergone PLENTY of upgrades, both major and minor over the years, nottheleastofwhich being the expansion of maximum columns and rows, inclusion of PowerPivot PowerQuery, SmartArt and independently positionable text boxes, and the Ribbon menu, which completely altered the appearance and usability of the program (and upset many users).

    so adding new features and new functionality should NOT be something they are opposed to.

    that being said, even if there were a "default functionality", that SHOULD be something which should be easy to change, or to set to let OTHERS change. that is all we really want: to have Excel act how WE want for how WE wish to use it. after all, not everybody uses it for number crunching at all. some of us think it quite logical that if a number contains leading zeroes, it is not really a number at all...

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    zak again commented  · 

    i don't happen to have such large CSV files to test, but i'll take your word for it.
    however, that does NOT detract from the fact that, however "powerful" Excel may be, it still changes the data entered into it without being asked to. and changing data, even just upon opening a file, is unacceptable to MOST people.
    and if an addon like Power Query can do as much as you say, then it should be short work for them to integrate such tools into Excel, and fix ALL our problems, instead of just saying that it would be too hard, due to clearly outdated legacy programming...
    if they can waste time changing the appearance of Office products every 5 years or so, they should spend that time fixing the glaring data handling concerns instead. nobody cares if it looks newer, they just want it to work.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Todd: Google's Docs system is secured, and allows for individualized sharing via Google accounts, so that nobody but who YOU specify can access your files. They site is SSL encrypted as well, which is currently "unhackable". the only downside is that you have to upload files to Google first.
    @Ed: not sure what you mean by "powerful", but if it doesn't mess up peoples' data, i'd say it's plenty "powerful" for that job.

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    zak again commented  · 

    okay then, here is a perfect workaround: use Google Sheets (docs.google.com). it doesn't require any extra plugins to work properly, it's FREE, and it doesn't change your inputs arbitrarily.

    now, can we get back to what this complaint is about: improving Excel?

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed Hansberry:
    PowerQuery is NOT a solution to the problem that is Excel changing numbers unnecessarily.
    the "expectation" here is NOT JUST for csv files, but for ANY number typed into Excel that is 16+ characters to NOT be truncated!
    using Power Query does NOT fix ANYTHING! especially since it only loads data, which can can do just fine without it. Excel has the problem here, NOT us...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ben:
    i believe you mean replace the battery ;)
    not that i don't agree with the idea behind what you're saying.

    @Brent:
    this would be fine...if we never needed to edit the data or add more to it.
    the bottom line with this page's main complaint is that Excel borks your data, which IT DOESN'T HAVE TO! that is programmed behavior. it wouldn't do that if it wasn't programmed to.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Alex E.:
    this has already been discussed. what you are talking about is just a REFERENCE to another file. saving this file as an Excel file only REFERENCES the CSV. it does NOT allow you to edit it, or add values to it in any way.
    go ahead, try to type a 16+ digit value in one of the cells that is NOT already populated after following your steps, and see what happens...
    the point is, Excel is CHANGING values for NO REASON. Notepad doesn't do this, and Google Sheets doesn't either, so why is Excel?

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, but this is a hassle, and Excel should NOT be changing data so arbitrarily.
    it cannot be that hard to fix because Google Docs doesn't change a csv's numbers...

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    zak again commented  · 

    yes, Excel sucks. be sure to vote for that at the top...

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    zak again commented  · 

    yeah, anonymous! let 'em know!
    and be sure to VOTE while you are here, instead of just ranting...
    thanks.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed: or Excel could just stop trying to automatically convert things into what it THINKS are numbers...

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    zak again commented  · 

    the little blue button at the top that says Vote.

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    zak again commented  · 

    I hope all you ranters are actually voting too ;)

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    zak again commented  · 

    it is obvious that what most of the people want is a toggle of sorts. a way to have the information displayed THEIR way. some way of setting their own default.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    what Chris Larry said.
    plus, how hard would it truly be to insert a code that basically said "if number is longer than 15 digits, treat as text", or to even just put an option in Excel's already extensive Options menu to that effect?
    just giving user's a CHOICE would be nice...then it would be THEIR problem if it didn't work.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    that is exactly the problem: Excel is altering data! perhaps 15 digits was a limitation back in the old days of computers, but with the 64-bit ultra powerful computers we have now, why should it be an issue?
    and since MOST CSV data is NOT numbers that we want Excel to fiddle with, why can't Excel just see it as the text it is? as you said, there are other softwares that can handle higher digits, so why can't Excel?
    as for having to rewrite the code being "an insanely massive undertaking", think of how much JUNK Excel has added over each new iteration that only marginally helps SOME people. think of how much MORE help it would be to expand Excel beyond 15 digit numbers! i thought Microsoft was working toward a better future? or are they simply adding a few new features every 3 years, to warrant selling it as a whole new software you need to buy in order to stay "non-obsolete"?

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed:
    open a CSV in Notepad, it shows all the digits just fine, but a high-tech piece of software like Excel cannot handle it??? considering Notepad is "free" and Excel costs hundreds of dollars, this is just ridiculous.
    THAT is what this complaint is about.

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    zak again commented  · 

    not to mention the fact that it still truncates the numbers when you save it as CSV...

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Ed
    That is for importing text files, not opening CSVs directly. and doing it as an import, you do not need Power Query, you just need to select all the cells during the import and choose Text format (Step 3 of Import).
    .....but that is a hassle, when it SHOULD be something you can set yourself in your own copy of Excel's Options menu (e.g., Always open CSVs as type "text").

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    zak again commented  · 

    @KimB
    the Vote button is at the top.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Diana

    how am i mistaken? all i said was that setting all cells as Text type will keep Excel from truncating the data. this much is true.

    i agree that Microsoft should make it a customizable setting, and never said otherwise. all i posted was a workaround. a workaround that we shouldn't need, but do, for now.

    the workaround i posted DOES work with large datasets, as long as you save the file as an Excel file. you can always save it as a CSV on an as-needed basis.

    this sucks, and I hope Micro$oft is reading this, but it does work.

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    zak again commented  · 

    @Andrew Lenz:
    it DOES work (at least on Excel 2013).
    I did it several times, with both leading zeroes AND strings longer than 16 characters. I even saved in the old Excel .xls format, and it still kept the info.
    the only way it DOESN'T save it as text is if you save as a CSV file. this is because a CSV file does NOT save formatting changes. it is only a plain text file, openable in Notepad.
    as long as you save it as an Excel workbook, it preserves your Text Format, and does NOT truncate your data.

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    zak again commented  · 

    "Amazing I can save a list of upc s with a leading 0 to this forum but I can't save my excel file as a CSV and it retain its integrity."

    that's because webpages are designed for displaying plain text. Excel is not designed for that. it can be USED for that, but you have to TELL it that you want it to display things in plain text.

    you can do this by selecting all cells (click the cell above row 1 and to the left of column A), right-click any of the cells, and Format Cells. then select "Text" from the formatting menu.

    this is a royal pain to have to do every time, which is why it would be nice to have a setting that would be remembered for each user to be able to set things the way they use it most frequently.

    good luck getting anything useful from Microsoft, though.

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    zak again commented  · 

    it isn't impossible to fix. in fact, it SHOULD just be another setting in Options: "Set Default Cell Type". then EVERYONE could be happy...

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    zak again commented  · 

    I know of NOBODY who uses the scientific notation in Excel, and about a hundred or so who have to use the "workaround"...it's just annoying for 90% of us.

    zak again supported this idea  · 

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