Excel Tips Tutorial: How to Enter Credit Card Numbers In Excel
You wouldn't think that we would have to explain how to enter credit card numbers into Excel. But, what many Excel users don't realize is that when entering numeric values into a cell, Excel only allows you to enter numbers with 15 digits or less. Excel will simply convert any digits past the 15th digit to a zero. Not only does Excel convert the digits past the 15th digit to zero it also displays large series of numbers in scientific notation which could also cause headaches. To see an example of this look at the image below.
There aren't many situations where you would enter numbers large enough to have more than 15 digits but it does happen. For example, credit card numbers are 16 digits long. If you were to enter a list of credit card numbers into Excel and didn't realize that the last digit of the card numbers were converted to zeros you might be a little upset. Luckily there is a solution to this problem. Follow the steps below to learn how to enter credit card numbers or for that matter any number that has more than 15 digits into Excel.
Step 1: Activate the cell where you want to enter your number.
Step 2: Right click and a shortcut menu will appear.
Step 3: From this shortcut menu select Format Cells and a tabbed dialog box will appear.
Step 4: Makes sure the numbers tab in the dialog box is selected. Now in the category select Text. PRESS OK.
Now your cell or cells are formatted to text. When a cell is formatted to text you can enter numbers with more than 15 digits and they will not be displayed in scientific notation.
In this image we entered a number that consists of 18 digits. The number we entered was 1234567890123456789 but this is not what you see. Look in the formula bar. The number displayed is 1234567890123450000 and that number is shown in the cell in scientific notation. The scientific notation number being displayed is not an accurate representation of the number we entered. It is a representation of the number after Excel converted the last four digits or our number to zeros.