This is a fun solution. You want to put a series of numbers in a range in Excel and you want them to have leading zeros. So you want, 001, 002, 003 etc. Problem is that Excel drops the zeros when you type them. It makes sense, leading zeros aren’t required and really don’t aid comprehension. However, for your own reasons, you want them.

Here’s how to do this:

Select the cells and choose Format > Cells > Number tab. Select Custom from the Categories list and in the box marked Type:, type this:


This tells Excel that there must always be 3 digits showing which forces leading zeros to be displayed. It doesn’t do anything to the numbers so they are still numbers which is just as you would want it to be.

Helen Bradley