Solved

How can I save an Excel spreadsheet to CSV and preserve the format?

Posted on 2014-12-24
9
71 Views
Last Modified: 2015-01-03
Spreadsheet with 2 columns, A and B.

Column A contains Item numbers, many of which start with leading zeros.  ie 00001,  00002, etc...
When you save the Excel spreadsheet to CSV it removes the leading zeros and the numbers show up only as 1, 2 etc..  it must keep the leading zeros.
0
Comment
Question by:100questions
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
  • +3
9 Comments
 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Glenn M
ID: 40516562
CSV is typically just ASCII text so there's no way I'm aware of to preserve any formatting. Even if you format the cells in Excel as text when you save as CSV the leading zeros will get stripped out.
0
 
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Joseph Daly
ID: 40516572
This is correct. CSV files will not save formatting, spacing, font, color, etc. In its simplest form it is data in plain text seperated by commas. If you want those options you need to keep it in xls or xlsx format.
0
 
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 40516607
If you format the cells/columns as text, you should be able to output a CSV file with the leading zeros preserved.

See the attached CSV for an example
Q-28586471.csv
0
Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

 
LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:Glenn M
ID: 40516626
That's true aikimark. We don't know what application the posted will be opening the CSV file in. I know in Excel it will treat it as a general format and strip the zeros.
0
 
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:aikimark
ID: 40516671
If saved with a .txt file extension, Excel might be inclined to treat the column as text, especially if it is quote delimited.
0
 
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Danny Child
ID: 40517288
If you can start your text with an ' (apostrophe) character, you can then add as many leading zeros as you want, and if saving to CSV, then the formatting should be preserved.

HOWEVER, if you open the CSV in Excel again, the formatting is lost - even with double-quotes " around them.

So, it seems to be a one-way trip.  Does this work for you?  Why do you need ad CSV, please? Where's the data going....?
0
 
LVL 21

Expert Comment

by:Ejgil Hedegaard
ID: 40517966
It is not a one way trip.
As alkimark says
Excel might be inclined to treat the column as text
If the csv file is imported to Excel using the data import wizard, you can define the column to be treated as text, and the leading zeros are preserved.
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
100questions earned 0 total points
ID: 40521918
Solution:  When saving it to a csv, do not open that saved file with Excel, open it with Notepad.  The format will not be disrupted to the leading zeros.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:100questions
ID: 40528939
This works.
0

Featured Post

Free Tool: Subnet Calculator

The subnet calculator helps you design networks by taking an IP address and network mask and returning information such as network, broadcast address, and host range.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way of saying thank you for being a part of the community.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Title # Comments Views Activity
Problem to line 23 53
Can't get rid of Update Links message in Excel 2013 8 28
how to do this Excel search box Soundex Search 6 27
Set WorkSheet  not Working 9 38
Convert between Excel file formats (.XLS, .XLSX, .XLSM) with/without macro option David Miller (dlmille) Intro Over this past Fall, I've had the opportunity to see several similar requests and have developed a couple related solutions associate…
Improved? Move/Copy Add-in Replacement - How to avoid the annoying, “A formula or sheet you want to move or copy contains the name XXX, which already exists on the destination worksheet.” David Miller (dlmille)  It was one of those days… I wa…
This Micro Tutorial demonstrate the bugs in Microsoft Excel for Mac with Pivot Charts.
This Micro Tutorial demonstrates in Microsoft Excel how to consolidate your marketing data by creating an interactive charts using form controls. This creates cool drop-downs for viewers of your chart to choose from.

808 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question