Thursday, April 23, 2009


FAQ: How to convert values to text in Excel using the TEXT function.

Here's a tip for Excel to allow you to load organizational or survey job codes that are a mix of number codes and letter codes. For example, some surveys have job numbers similar to the following:
  • 1000
  • 1000R
or the format may look like this
  • 10.10
  • 10.11
  • 10.12
What can happen in Excel is that the trailing zero is removed and the list ends up looking like this:
  • 10.1
  • 10.11
  • 10.12
In the above examples the job codes with an R at the end are considered text data by Excel. The job codes without the R are considered numeric data by Excel. Similarly, the job codes with the decimal point are all considered values by Excel, when in reality you want them to load into NextComp as text.

NextComp will read only the numeric OR text depending on how the data is sorted in the import template. You’ll need to convert all of the job codes to text data in Excel. The image below gives a quick visual summary of the process. Click the image for a larger version.

Here's a step-by-step description for Excel 2003 and prior versions. The same techniques work in Excel 2007, although the menu names may be slightly different.

Step 1: Select all of column B by clicking in column B’s header

Step 2: Select the Insert menu in Excel, then select Columns

Step 3: Select the Format menu item in Excel and then select the Cells menu item

Step 6: Select cell B2

Step 7: Enter the formula shown below into cell B2. Here's a description of the TEXT function on the Microsoft Office website.

Step 8: Copy cell B2 down all the way to the last row of job code data

Step 9: Select data in column B from cell B2 through to the last row of data in the column

Step 10: Select the Edit menu item in Excel and then select the Copy menu item

Step 11: Select cell A2

Step 12: Select the Edit menu item in Excel and then select the Paste Special... menu item

Step 13: Choose “Values” as the Paste type

Step 14: Click the OK button

Step 15: Select all of column B by clicking on the column header for B

Step 16: Select the Edit menu in Excel and then select the Delete menu item

Step 17: Select the File menu item in Excel

Step 18: Select the Save item in the File menu

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