# Temporary solution

Here's the temporary workaround that I came up with.

## Working formula

Just use this formula:

```
`=IF(LEN(A2)<3, CONCATENATE(REPT("0", 3-LEN(A2)), A2), A2)`
```

Replace `3`

with padding length and `0`

with padding character. `A2`

is a padding source.

## Explanation

Consider the following spreadsheet:

```
-------------
| A | B |
-------------
| 1 | 001 |
-------------
| 2 | 002 |
-------------
| 31 | 031 |
-------------
| 45 | 045 |
-------------
| 500 | 500 |
-------------
```

We have initial column (A) with integers that we want to pad. The (B) column will contain the special formula to process the data.

### Concatenate!

First of all we need a way to concatenate value from `A`

column with padding string. We can do this with `CONCATENATE`

function:

```
=CONCATENATE("00", A2)
```

### Repeat!

Right now, padding character `0`

is repeated twice in our formula. This is not good. We can use `REPT`

function to repeat our padding character several times like this:

```
=REPT("0", 2)
```

This formula will repeat `0`

two times. Let's combine them:

```
=CONCATENATE(REPT("0", 2), A2)
```

### Calculate length!

That's better. But padding length has a constant value in our formula and that is not going to work with numbers greater than 9. We can fix this by calculating length of the padded string (using `LEN`

function) and subtract it from our target length:

```
=3-LEN(A2)
```

Let's add it to our formula:

```
=CONCATENATE(REPT("0", 3-LEN(A2)), A2)
```

However, we will get negative results for values greater than 999 and it will break the `REPT`

function (number of repetitions can not be negative).

We can easily fix it by adding a condition:

```
=IF(LEN(A2)<3, "APPLY REPT", "OUTPUT AS IS")
```

Let's put the final peaces together:

```
=IF(LEN(A2)<3, CONCATENATE(REPT("0", 3-LEN(A2)), A2), A2)
```