I'm using Excel 2010, and whenever I type a text that starts with an apostrophe ('), it is hidden. I can bypass this by adding a space at the beginning, but it's annoying and also ruins the structure of the text.

Is there a way to avoid this and have the apostrophe show?

2 Answers 2


The apostrophe ' is a special character for Excel when it appears as the first character in a cell. It tells Excel to treat the rest of the string as text.

So, you want to know how to bypass this? The solution is pretty straight forward.

Just type two apostrophes. Yes, you heard it right. Instead of ' type ''. Remember, not a double quote, just two single quotes and you will have it in the cell. See this:

enter image description here

  • A clever solution +1! Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 7:16
  • Indeed. I hope this works for the OP :)
    – user871532
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 7:18
  • 😊✌ Sure, It will work. Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 7:24
  • Thanks! it does work. I now noticed that if I bypass this problem my own way, by adding space, Excel actually adds another apostrophe on it's own, just with space, so it ' '{text}.
    – nettek
    Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 7:29
  • 7
    Note that using the escape character itself to escape the special meaning of the escape character, is pretty common. E.g. in many programming languages, the backslash is an escape character, so if you want to type a Windows path, you actually need to to type something like C:\\Users\\Eran. Commented Apr 7, 2020 at 16:18

The other way to force a string to be treated as a string (e.g., not as a number) is to enclose it in double quotes and put an equal sign in front.  So, to get 123 as a string, you can type '123 or ="123", and to get '123 (as a string), you can type ''123 or ="'123".

You must log in to answer this question.

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