How to Disable Scientific Notation in Excel 2003

Written by adi ferrara
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Microsoft Excel automatically formats anything containing a number and the letter E as scientific notation. This could be a problem if, for example, you are importing a parts list from a file. If your part numbers look like this: 25E72, 25E73, 26E72, your data will show up in Excel as 2.50E+73, 2.50E+74, 2.60E+73. To avoid this problem, there is an easy solution. All you need is some preparation before importing your data. This article applies to MS Excel 2003 and 2007 for PC.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Highlight the column into which your list will go.

  2. 2

    Right-click anywhere in the highlighted column.

  3. 3

    Choose "Format Cells...: from the drop-down menu.

  4. 4

    In the "Number" tab, choose "Text" from the "Category" list. Import your data.

Tips and warnings

  • If you are using the Import Data wizard, you will reach a screen that allows you to format each column separately as a different type of data. Make sure the column with your numbers is formatted as text through the wizard.
  • If you format your column as text AFTER importing your data, your numbers will stay in scientific notation and you will have to retype them manually in the correct format.

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