Importing CSV’s and having parts of numbers being cut off

When importing text or csv files into Excel, the situation sometimes arises that a long number correctly displayed in the text or csv file, suddenly loses or changes the last few numbers into zero’s. This often happens with ‘numbers’ that are more like account numbers and less like amounts e.g. credit card numbers, telephone numbers etc.

The reason for this is that if Excel thinks a set of digits represents a number, it wants to show the number but it is limited in the size of number it can show. As a result it rounds off the last few digits to represent the biggest number it can.

Typically numbers of this size are normally descriptive and you just want Excel to pull through the ‘number’ as it would pull through a text field. In this case you need to use Excel’s Convert Text to Columns or the Import tool  and specify in the appropriate place that the column must be treated as text and not as a number.

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