Correct ISBNs converted to scientific notation in Excel

When working with library data like ISBNs in Excel, there can be times when the ISBN data gets converted to something that looks like scientific notation.  The issue is related to how Excel types data for display and formatting.  Excel uses a predictive typing system — which is to say — that Excel reads the first 5 rows of data and based on its assessment of that data, sets a data type for that data.  When converting data from Excel to MARC, this is problematic since this predictive typing happens when MarcEdit extracts data from Excel as well.

Fortunately, correcting this issue is relatively straightforward.  To correct the problem, users need to manually define how the data should be typed.  This is done through the following steps:

  1. Select the Column with the data you want to type from Excel
  2. Click on the Data tab in Excel 2010+, or the Data Menu in 2007-.
  3. Click on the Text to Columns button and you get the wizard.  Use the following settings (screenshots follow):
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  4. When you get to here, click Finish and your data in the highlighted column will be reformatted.