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How can I format an excel column as text?

Here is a common question we receive: Question: I have MS Excel 2003. I have a column of text and another column of numbers. It looks like:

[Dan Smith] [12345]
[Jenny Lee] [222  ]
[Ben Jones] [212  ]

and so forth. When I try to import this Excel file into another program, the text imports fine and the values import looking like 12345.0 and 222.0 and 212.0 and that's not good when you are trying to import a zip code or a phone number!

Is there an easier way to format the column so that the data remains as text and is not formatted with the extra .0 for each entry? I tried highlighting the column and going to Format/Text and Format/General and Format/Number and none of those options are working.


1. Highlight the column. You can only highlight one column at a time.

2. Click the Data menu item and the Text to Columns.

3. A Convert Text to Columns Wizard will popup. Select Delimited and click Next.

4. Click Next again.

5. Select Text as the Column data format. Then click Finish.

6. The column will have green triangles in the upper left corner and look like the following:

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