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?


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:

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  • A clever solution +1! Apr 7 '20 at 7:16
  • Indeed. I hope this works for the OP :)
    – Sanu_012
    Apr 7 '20 at 7:18
  • 😊✌ Sure, It will work. Apr 7 '20 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
    Apr 7 '20 at 7:29
  • 6
    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. Apr 7 '20 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".

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