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Edit EANs correctly in Excel


  • Excel turns my EAN into a strange number. How can I prevent this?
  • Excel is ruining my EAN. What do i have to do?


Excel often interprets EANs (European Article Numbers) as a number. This in itself is a problem because it causes Excel to remove leading 0s. Due to the length of the number, Excel also converts the number into an exponential number. This makes further editing of item lists very difficult.

Excel converts it to exponential numbers

Here you will find instructions on how to prevent this in Excel.


To prevent Excel from processing EANs incorrectly, you need to stop Excel from interpreting the column as a number. Instead it should be interpreted as EAN.

  1. Select the entire column in Excel by clicking on the column.
  2. Right-click the selection and choose "Format Cells."
  3. Select “Text” as the format.

Tips und Tricks:

When you open an Excel or CSV file for the first time, Excel automatically converts the column into a number and thus into exponential numbers by default. As long as you haven't changed the file yet and proceed as described above, Excel can still display the EAN correctly because they are still in the internal memory. However, once you close the file, the correct values are usually lost.

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