Displaying long numbers (greater than 15 char) in Excel
by MBAmonster42 - 4/24/08 6:33 AM
I work for a large processing house that produces thousands of reports every day that go out to many different users. Our standard for delivering reports is as CSV files to prevent the data from being truncated by Excel. While we send the files as CSVs, most of our end users open the files with Excel for easier viewing and data manipulation purposes.
A problem has arisen because our new transaction processing system uses a 32 bit numeric entry to uniquely identify the transaction. The field in CSV is properly filled in, but when the end users open up the CSV, the numbers are automatically translated into numeric, any digit beyond 15 is replaced by a "0", and then this modified number is translated into scientific notation. Now the data in the field is not only formatted in an illegible fashion, but the data itself has been converted wrong so even reformatting does not fix the problem.
Microsoft says that this is a feature of Excel is that numbers must conform to IEEE 757 standards of 15 characters or less, any digit beyond 15 is replaced by "0", and all other numbers must be treated as TEXT.
I need to find a way to change a setting in Excel, or the Excel registry so that numbers are automatically imported as strings of text instead of numbers. The solution must allow my end users to automatically open a CSV in Excel, and have the data display properly. I am aware that the users could manually import the information into Excel, but this is not something these people are going to be able to do on a regular basis.
Has anyone ever dealt with this before?