Excel converting value 0503E000 to 5.03E+02 in any cell automatically in CSV I tried to convert it to text number and general but after i save it and reopen it again it goes back to 5.03E+02

How do I stop this from happening?

  • just resize the column width and it should be displayed normally
    – Scorpion99
    Jan 7, 2015 at 20:47
  • Have you tried formatting the cell as text before entering the text?
    – CharlieRB
    Jan 7, 2015 at 21:00
  • tried resizing and formatting as text already no go .... Jan 7, 2015 at 21:02
  • If you need to use the value as a hex number (i.e. you can't have it as a text string), you can nest DEC2HEX and HEX2DEC strings for the original number (e.g. =DEC2HEX(HEX2DEC("0503E000")) for your example). It may not help if you need to manipulate the csv file without it containing formulae, but it's another option besides formatting as text.
    – Myles
    Mar 22, 2018 at 17:46

7 Answers 7


I think the key issue here is that you are using a CSV, which does not have the cell type embedded in it. Excel automatically tries to interpret the cell as having a scientific number which is why you are seeing 5.03E+02 instead of 0503E000.

Try creating an Excel workbook and formatting all of the cells as text, and then pasting in the data. I tried it in Excel 2013 and it worked.

  • Yeah it works in Workbook, But unfortunately we have to use CSV for this purpose.....pity Jan 7, 2015 at 21:29
  • So don't use Excel to view the contents, or run a macro on the cell, to convert it back or use slightly different syntax if you used 0x before the value I don't belive it would convert
    – Ramhound
    Jan 7, 2015 at 21:32
  • I think we may have to lay this off ... because if we open it in another editor like notepad or notepad ++ it has the correct value....so I think cell has the correct value just displaying it wierdly in scientific notation.... Jan 7, 2015 at 21:45

If you can convert or control the CSV format, you can force a column to parse as text in Excel by wrapping it in double quotes and prepending an equals sign.

Excel will carelessly discard precision in this format:


Or even this format:


Converting it to:

Value  |  5.03E+02  |  1234123412341230

However, adding the equals sign forces Excel to begrudgingly preserve your data:


…which opens as:

Value  |  0503E000  |  1234123412341234
  • 1
    Great solution when pasting from SQL
    – SeaSprite
    Aug 23, 2017 at 20:24
  • 1
    Also great solution when import data via "Get external data" in "Data" menu of Excel. Sep 5, 2018 at 11:00
  • 1
    Great solution. The only (small) drawback is that you'll end up with formulaes instead of values. So just copy everything and then paste values, which will lead to a somewhat smaller Excel file.
    – Stef
    Jan 28, 2019 at 9:59
  • Only if the file is in read only mode, if user edit the file and save. He will again loose the actual value Sep 24, 2020 at 11:34
  • This answer might work, but thinking about this, I think its ideocracy: you have to format your CSVs in a way especially for Excel, having to adapt all other applications that need to use the CSV. Furthermore, when you export xlsx to csv, you have to manually edit the csv and change all of this in order to import it again...
    – JHBonarius
    Jan 21, 2021 at 13:39

Instead of Opening" the CSV file in Excel, select to Import the file (in Excel 2007-2010 you would navigate to the Data Ribbon / Get External Data / From Text). Not sure about 2013 but there should be something similar. When you do that, the Text Import wizard will open and afford you the opportunity to format the column containing that Value as Text, before Excel (not so helpfully) changes it to a numeric value.

  • 1
    This. I almost never open CSV files directly.
    – pepoluan
    Jan 9, 2015 at 15:31
  • @pepoluan I don't understand what you have written. Jan 10, 2015 at 0:33
  • Which part exactly you don't understand?
    – pepoluan
    Jan 10, 2015 at 14:55
  • 4
    @pepoluan Thanks. Had I understood this, the rest would have been clear. Guess I'm getting old :-( Jan 10, 2015 at 15:49
  • 1
    I was hopeful that using "this" as a complete sentence would have died a quick death, but 4 years later, it's as strong as ever.
    – variant
    Nov 28, 2018 at 14:53

Start the cell with an apostrophe to force text interpretation:


Basically, this tells Excel not to parse the field as a number. Because there is an 'E' in the field, it looks like a number to Excel. The apostrophe won't actually be entered into the cell:

[a1] '0502E000
[b1] =hex2dec(a1)

Cell 'b1' will display 84074496.

  • 4
    This works when entering directly in Excel, but not with CSV file.
    – SBF
    Mar 5, 2018 at 10:16
  • 1
    When opening a csv file, the apostrophe will actually be entered into the cell
    – Stef
    Jan 28, 2019 at 9:44

Try to load the file (data fetched from DB table) through DATA option in MS excel then simply while loading just select “Do not detect data types” under “Data Type Detection” then load , this will keep the as it as format of data and loads excel, no need for any column conversions.


Paste the data into a google spreadsheet. Select the column ==> Format ==> Number => Custom format => type the number of digits to which you want format to happen (ex: 10 digits = 0000000000)

  • I would like to suggest better Edit you post,, since need to add some examples!! Jul 27, 2019 at 7:23

With the default cell formatting, numbers with a zero in front and long numbers will automatically get modified by Excel. For example, if you type 012, it will be changed to 12.

If you format the cells as Text, then any number that you type in the cell will stay as is, and will not be modified by Excel.

However, if you paste a number from another source into a cell that is formatted as Text, and in the source there is any sort of formatting, the formatting of the cell will change from Text to General, and the number manipulation will come back.

The solution that I found was to do a paste special, and paste the number as Text. Then the cell remains with its Text formatting, and the number is not modified at all.

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