How to Add Leading Zeroes to Existing Excel Values to Certain Length

In the event of maintaining records in Excel like Employee IDs and Transaction IDs, you will need to add leading zeroes to the dataset. You can use various ways to do this through each method has its own sets of merits and demerits. The following are ways to add leading zeroes to existing excel values.

By Converting the Format to Text

This method is used when you have just a few numeric datasets and edit this manually. For example, when doing this on employee IDs, try changing the ID by filling in leading zeroes first. You will notice that Excel still converts the value to 1 or the original value. The following steps can help you do this successfully.

1. Select the cells that young want to apply this method

2. Click on Home, then go to Number Groups.

3. Select Text from the choices that will appear

Excel will thus comply when you add leading zeroes manually with the cells. However, when you convert the format to Text, some functions such as SUM/COUNT will not work properly as the cells are now in text format.

By Using Custom Number Formatting

This method is used when you have a numeric data set, and you want your result to remain in numeric form. Follow the easy steps below to add leading zeroes so that the result will remain unchanged;

1. Select the cell that you want to apply the method to

2. Click on Home and select Number Group.

3. Click the dialog launcher, thus opening the Format Cells box. Use also CTRL+ 1

4. Select Custom in Category

5. Enter 00000 in this field

6. Press OK

By so doing, the numbers will always be displayed as five digits as in 00001, 00002, 00003, etc. This method only works when you are using a numeric dataset. Texts do not work in this case and would need to be converted to numeric forms.

By using the TEXT function

This method is used when you want your result to be in text form. You will be able to change the value into the desired format while using the TEXT function. Use the following easy steps to do this;

1. Say you have numbers in column A. Then select column B and type the formula =TEXT(A2,"00000")

2. Press Ctrl+ Enter to apply the formula to the entire cell you have selected.

When you convert your dataset to Text, you will be able to use the VLOOKUP and INDEX/MATCH formulas so that the details you need are fetched easily. The numbers are displayed as five digits, while the leading zeroes will be added when the digits are less than 5b digits. The only demerit of this method is that it only works with a numeric dataset. You will be forced to change your dataset to numeric form if it's in text format.

By Using REPT and LEN Functions

This method is only used when your dataset is alphanumeric and you want your result to be Text. This is how to go about it;

1. Enter the formula =REPT(0.5-LEN(A2))&A2

2. Press Ctrl+ Enter to apply the formula to the selected cells.