How to Preserve Leading Zeros and Long Numbers in Microsoft Excel

Topic:

This article explains how to preserve strings of digits (such as contact External IDs and notification IDs) when opening comma-separated value (CSV) files in Excel.

Description:

Everbridge automatically generates long strings of digits as unique identifiers, such as contact External IDs and Notification IDs. Microsoft Excel, however, often removes leading zeros or rounds long numbers because it is only capable of handling numbers with fewer than 16 digits. These automatic changes can lead to issues with uploading CSV files to Everbridge.

The following procedure describes how to open a CSV file safely with Excel by importing numbers as text.

NOTES:

  • You will need to import the data to MS Excel. DO NOT double-click to open the file.
  • Always save a copy of your data before performing any uploads. Having manual save-points is a key best practice.
STEPS:
  1. After downloading a CSV file from Everbridge, do not open the file immediately. Instead, extract the file from the .zip folder
  2. Open a blank Microsoft Excel document
  3. In the Data tab in Excel, select the option to Import Data From a Text/CSV
  4. Select the file (you may need to set search in the lower right-hand corner of the prompt box as “all files”)
  5. Select Import
  6. Set Delimited as Comma
  7. Select Transform Data
  8. Select the column(s) in question (e.g., External ID or Notification ID)
  9. Select the Data Type: drop-down menu and change it from Whole Number to Text
  10. In the Change Colum Type pop-up menu, select Replace Current
  11. In the top left corner select Close & Load
  12. Check that your data now displays the full numbers as recorded in the Everbridge database
  13. Make sure to save your file as a .csv before you upload it to Everbridge

 

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