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I need to copy & paste a large table (54 pages of data) from Word to Excel.

Works great except when some of the cells contain ranges (1-10, etc), Excel insists on interpreting them as dates and promptly CORRUPTS the data (you CANNOT obtain the original value back by applying Text formatting to the cells... the original value is GONE!).

Is there any way to completely disable the date auto-format feature? Or perhaps trick Excel into thinking the '-' is not a valid date separator?

The file I want to convert is actually publicly available here:

http://www.cms.hhs.gov/ElectronicBillingEDITrans/18_5010D0.asp#TopOfPage

Scroll down to "Excel formats - Remittance, Claim Stauts Inquiry and Response, Eligibility Inquiry and Response [ZIP, 310KB]" Then inside it find a WORD file which I urgently need to get in EXCEL format without corrupting the ranges.

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1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

The solution is simple: Preformatting the cells:

  1. First, open a blank Excel sheet and select all cells.
  2. Format all cells as Text.
  3. Go to Word and copy all data.
  4. Go to Excel and use Paste Special to paste your data as Text.

That's all. I tried this with the referred Word document and it works perfect.

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I think I tried this too, and it didn't work. I finally figured out to do a search-replace of all dashes to tildes ~ in the original document before copying. –  Alex R Feb 23 '10 at 1:51

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