That they will never be used as numbers shouldn't, in and of itself, stop
you from formatting them as numbers, if that will speed up your work. I don't
know of a way to change Excel's default paste (paste all). I has occurred to
me (belatedly) that you are copying from outside Excel. You can use the
keyboard to paste unformatted text from outside Excel as follows: alt
(selects Menubar), e (opens Edit), s (opens Paste Special), down arrow (paste
text without formatting), enter: so alt, e, s, down arrow, enter.
Alternately, you can put a Paste Values button on the Menubar. The following
works in Excel 2003, I hope in your version as well:
View Toolbars Customize Commands Edit
Find the Paste Values button and drag it to the left of the File menu on the
Menubar. Drop it there. Close the Customize dialog. Now pressing alt will
select that button, and pressing enter will paste the contents (without
formatting) of the clipboard into the selected cell. Whatever formatting is
already in the cell will control the display of the data. As I noted before,
if “text” does not give you the results you want, use the “number” format.
Thanks for your help!
These 16 digit numbers are Customer Account numbers and will never be used
as numbers. They may as well be alpha characters.
Is there a way in xl to change the default paste functionality.
Is there a key board shortcut for Paste-special-text?
We do this cutting and pasting hundreds of times each day and this bug in xl
is very costly.
I wonder if the programable button on a 3 button mouse could be programed to
do such a thing as paste-special-text
Yes, that is what I would expect. Formatting the target cell beforehand
would have no effect, since Paste will overwrite it. Formatting the source
cell should give you better results.
Here are the results of my experiments:
1) Enter 16 digit number, copy, paste: scientific.
2) Format source as text, then enter number, copy, paste: 16 digits and a
3) Enter number, format source as text, copy, paste: scientific.
(In all cases formatting the target cell beforehand should have no effect,
because the default paste is paste all, so the source format is pasted as
well, and that is what I found.)
4) Format source as number, either before or after entering the number,
copy, paste: 16 digits, no error warning. This would seem to be your best
option, unless you need the 16 digit number formatted as text for another
reason, in which case, go with example "2)."
I did format the cell as text before I pasted.
After formating the cell as TEXT I pasted.
Prior to pasting the 16 digit number into the cell I formated the cell as
I followed these procedures:
1. Format the cell as text.
2. paste the 16 digit number into the cell
Result = 16th digit converted to zero, displayed as scientific notation.
I did format the cell as text before I did the cut and paste.
That is what is so frustrating.
I think that the clipboard is giving it a type of numberic and then when xl
gets it it must convert that cell to numberic no matter what you've have told
it to do.
I'll will try to do a paste-special-values but that will slow us down. We
do hundreds of these everyday and this bug in xl is costing us.
Do you know of a keyboard shortcut for paste-special-values ?
"Chip Pearson" wrote:
Format the cell as Text before pasting the data.
Microsoft MVP - Excel
Pearson Software Consulting, LLC
"Thuferhawat" wrote in
how do I keep 16 digit numbers as text in excel?
I format the cells as text ahead of time but when I cut and
numbers in the last digit is converted to a zero and it is