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Displaying values with more than 12 characters in Excel

By default, Microsoft Excel displays cells that contain a number with more than 12 characters as scientific notation. Follow these three simple steps to change how Excel formats these large numbers.

If you ever enter a very large number into a cell, you'll notice that Microsoft Excel displays it in scientific notation. For example, when you enter the number 1231231231234 in a cell, Excels displays 1.23123E+12. No matter how large you make the cell width, Excel still displays a number larger then 12 characters in scientific notation.

To display the number in a format other than scientific notation, you need to reformat the cell(s). Here's how:

  1. Select the cells that will hold the larger values and right-click the selection.
  2. Select Format Cells.
  3. In the Number tab, select the desired format (e.g., Number) and click OK.

Now when you enter the values that have more than 12 characters they will be formatted as numbers and not scientific notation.

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