Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I often need to do such things as enter a column of twitter handles. But if I start a cell by typing "@", excel assumes its a formula, and worse, refuses to accept a bad formula.

share|improve this question
up vote 6 down vote accepted

usually you can use ' at the beginning of a cell to show the value as a string.

share|improve this answer
    
Wow, this is an awesome trick. The column/cell does not even need to be formatted as text first for this to work. – xdumaine May 24 '12 at 17:22
    
Yeah, it's a handy one, especially if you want to start with an = – MaddHacker May 24 '12 at 17:24
1  
@DragonFax -- you should accept this as the answer. The tick mark at the beginning of a cell is the universally accepted way to do this. – Jon Crowell Jun 2 '12 at 20:37
    
would have been accepted faster but stackexchange seems to have stopped emailing me. will investigate. – DragonFax Jun 22 '12 at 20:54

Through experimentation, I found that I can set the whole column with a format of "Text" and that convinces Excel to accept the poorly formated "formulas". So this is a workable solution.

But I don't accept this as an elegant or proper solution, as it still assumes the input is a formula, and it acts as so (trying to sum other cells clicked, and such) until I force it to finish editing the cell. In other words, I don't trust the results of this solution.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .