Easy Guide: Storing a Number as Text in Excel [Step-by-Step Tutorial]

Excel is a popular spreadsheet software that is used by many people for various reasons. One of the common tasks in Excel is to store numbers as text. Storing numbers as text in Excel may be useful when you need to display or manipulate data that includes leading zeros or other special characters.

Different Ways to Store Numbers as Text

Method 1: Prefixing an Apostrophe (‘)

One of the easiest ways to store a number as text in Excel is by prefixing it with an apostrophe (‘), which tells Excel not to interpret the contents of the cell as a number. For example, if you want to store the number “012345” as text, simply type ‘012345 into any cell and press Enter.

However, this method has its limitations because it only works for small amounts of data and can become cumbersome when dealing with large datasets.

Method 2: Using Formatting Options

Another way to store numbers as text in Excel is by using formatting options such as custom formats. This method enables you to customize how your data appears while still retaining its original value.

To use this method:

1. Select the range of cells containing your numerical values.
2. Right-click on selected cells and select “Format Cells”.
3. In “Number” tab, select “Custom” under Category section.
4. In Type field put three semicolons like ;;; then click Ok

This will change all numeric values within that particular range into blank cells without removing their actual value stored internally within them.

The advantage of using formatting options over Method 1 is that it allows you more control over how your data displays while still preserving its original value.

However, keep in mind that this method does consume some additional memory overheads since each formatted cell contains both textual content and underlying numeric precision information.


Storing numbers as text in Excel is a common task and can be useful for displaying or manipulating data that includes special characters. There are different ways to store numbers as text, including prefixing an apostrophe or using formatting options like custom format. Each method has its advantages and limitations, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your needs based on the size of datasets and level of control required over how data appears within cells.

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