How to Use the Apostrophe in Excel

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If you have a Microsoft Excel program loaded onto your computer, then you can use it to organize sets of data in a spreadsheet and to compute the data using Excel equations. Excel uses apostrophes in some of its functions as a way to identify numbers that should be recognized as text instead of numbers computable in equations.

  • Open a new Microsoft Excel worksheet.

  • Click on the empty box that looks like a search box. It is labeled "fx," which stands for function.

  • Type an apostrophe followed by your number. Hit Enter. You will notice that a tiny blue triangle appears in the upper left-hand corner of the cell. This is the way to tell the Excel program to store the number as text.

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