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I'm researching a software bug (involving ColdFusion export to Excel, in case you're wondering) and it would help to have a full list of special characters in a number.

I have a creeping suspicion that F and D can be used that somehow, but I don't know how. Please provide an example for characters where appropriate.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

According to this, in addition to 0-9, numbers can include +, -, ,, $, %, (), . and e or E.

  • , - when followed by at least three digits
  • () - when they completely surround a number
  • . - when used only once
  • $ - preceding the number
  • % - following the number
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Excellent, I like the citation. If D and F can't be number characters, I guess I have a different problem than I thought... that helps! – jtpereyda Mar 17 '11 at 19:53
@Josh: You might want to post another separate question with specifics of the problem. Someone might be able to help you address it directly rather than indirectly. If it's more CFML related than Excel related, it may be better suited to Stack Overflow. – Dennis Williamson Mar 17 '11 at 20:00
@Dennis Good thought. It does seem to be at least largely a CFML issue; I'll head over there and post a question. Thanks! – jtpereyda Mar 17 '11 at 20:45
Do date & time also classified as numbers? If yes, then : & /, and even Jan, Feb, etc, should be included. Example, input 1/January/1900, the cell value would be 1. – wilson Mar 18 '11 at 2:53
Besides, as answered by @Dennis, $ is one of the special characters contained in a number (currency format). Then, other currency symbols should also be counted in, such as US$, etc. – wilson Mar 18 '11 at 3:01

To start:

.   only once in between non-zero characters
e   as in 3e+2
E   as in 2E+5
-   as in 4e-5 or -12
+   as in 3E+4
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