Pseudo-Scientific Notation, or The Mysterious Case of the Middle E

Typing a part number like 32E50 into an Excel spreadsheet can give you fits.  Excel thinks you are using shorthand for scientific notation, and converts this string into the number 3.20E+51 (or 32 with 50 zeroes) – Ugh!  The way to overcome this feature is to enter the string with a leading single quotation mark, like so: ’32E50

You would do the same thing if you wanted to type a formula, or anything else that begins with an equals sign, without Excel trying to convert it to a formula.

no_math

Thanks for reading – hope it helps!

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About excelesquire

NYC attorney and Excel enthusiast.
This entry was posted in Everybody, formulas, Lit Support and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Pseudo-Scientific Notation, or The Mysterious Case of the Middle E

  1. It’s not even a double quotation mark…it’s just a tiny single quotation mark that has the power to turn a gigantic number into a harmless text.

    Like

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