Tip 223 – Easily Type Leading Zeros in Excel

When you need a cell to contain a value that may contain a leading zero you can configure the cell so this zero shows. Select the cells to contain this value, right click and choose Format Cells > Number tab. Click Custom and, in the Type box, type one less zero than the maximum number of digits that the cell should contain (this will be four zeros in the case of a 5 digit US zip code) and then a # character. Click Ok. Now the cell will show leading zeros when you type them.