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15 Digit Limitation

Posted by Saadi on July 25, 2001 6:56 PM


It seems that everytime I paste a numerical number into excel that is in excess of 15 digits, it replaces all subsequent numbers with zero's.

Any idea why ?
Thank you

Posted by Mark W. on July 25, 2001 7:20 PM

From the Excel Help topic for "Tips on entering

"Regardless of the number of digits displayed,
Microsoft Excel stores numbers with up to 15
digits of precision. If a number contains more
than 15 significant digits, Microsoft Excel
converts the extra digits to zeros (0)."

While this doesn't fully answer your "why" it's
the best I can do.

Posted by Saadi on July 25, 2001 7:57 PM

Thank You so much for your quick response ! I did find this at Mircosoft

OR Search for Q78113.
But the implication doesn't make sense, there has to be a way to paste into excel, a number that is greater than 15 digits. Not even as text maybe ?
This might help. I would want them ultimately in numbers but I can work with text for now as well as don't necessarily need to manipulate the numbers. My key point is that I will be pasting these from another application in excel, not entering directly.

Posted by anon on July 25, 2001 8:51 PM

if you change the spreadsheet's cell format to text before you paste it will work

Posted by Rob on July 26, 2001 12:57 AM


Another option is to put a space in the number or split it across a number of cells. You can then Concantenate back together for any calculations that need to be performed from it. This way you do not lose accuracy.

A bit lumpy but does the job for odd occasions.


Posted by Mark W. on July 26, 2001 7:56 AM

What are these numbers? Credit card numbers? Why
doesn't your application represent numbers of this
magnitude in scientific notation?

Posted by Mark W. on July 26, 2001 8:23 AM

Rob, this doesn't gain you anything. Might as
well store it all as text (as suggested by anon).
Remember, concatenation of 2 numbers produces
a text value. Furthermore, as soon as the
long text value is coerced into a number for
computational purposes the precision is lost
anyway. Excel uses floating point registers that
only accommodate 15-digit precision.