Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Custom Formats for Scientific Notation.

Custom Formats for Scientific Notation

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 3, 2018)

5

Reid notes that he can display numbers using scientific notation and they appear in Excel in the format 1.23E+03 or 1.23E-03. He would like the scientific notation to be shown differently, such as 1.23x10^3 or 1.23x10^-3.

There is no way in Excel to change the way in which scientific notation is displayed. The only workaround is to use a formula to put together a text representation of what you want. For instance, if a value that uses Excel's scientific notation is stored in cell C7, you could use the following formula:

=LEFT(TEXT(D7,"0.00E+0"),3) & "x10^" & RIGHT(TEXT(D7,"0.00E+0"),3)

This formula essentially pulls the left portion of the number (the part before the E) and combines it with the right part of the number (the part after the E) together with the "x10^" notation. The result is considered a text string by Excel; it cannot be used in subsequent calculations.

If you needed to do quite a bit of formatting in this manner, it would be a relatively trivial matter to create a macro that returned the formatted text string based on the number. Create it as a user-defined function and you could then use it in your formulas.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9236) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Custom Formats for Scientific Notation.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Applying Standard Headers and Footers to a Document

When you attach a template to a document, it doesn't modify the documents headers or footers. This tip provides three ...

Discover More

Using Check Boxes

Check boxes, just like those used in Windows dialog boxes, can be a great addition to a worksheet. Here's how to add them ...

Discover More

Searching for Text with a Certain Format

The Find and Replace tool in Word is very powerful. You can use it to search not only for text but for the formatting ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Understanding Date and Time Formatting Codes

Want to apply a custom format to your dates and times? To do it effectively you need to understand the custom formatting ...

Discover More

Understanding Color and Conditional Formatting Codes

When you create custom cell formats, you can include codes that allow you to set the color of a cell and that specify the ...

Discover More

Adding a Custom Format to those Offered by Excel

Adding a custom format to Excel is easy. Having that custom format appear in all your workbooks is a different story ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine more than 6?

2018-05-17 10:22:34

Yvan Loranger

Try =LEFT(TEXT(C7,"0.00E+0"),4) & "x10^" & RIGHT(TEXT(C7,"0.00E+0"),2)


2018-05-15 11:40:51

PFL

Youssef,
I did not anticipate the formula having a line break added in the commenting process.
There is no line break, just one line for the formula.
PFL


2018-05-15 11:37:44

PFL

Youssef,

Accepting the placement of the value in C7 as stated, try placing the formula as shown below in D7.

=LEFT(TEXT(C7,"0.00E+0"),3) & "x10^" & RIGHT(TEXT(C7,"0.00E+0"),2)

Play around with the formula noting the result to get a feel for what the formula does. When you determine what the formula parts are referencing, modify it to work wherever you want it to be used.
PFL


2018-05-15 08:52:33

youssef elhalaby

i could not use it , i tried many things.
if scientific number is stored in C7
please where i will enter the recommended equation and what is the D7 used in it, also is there spaces before and after &
please help in simple straight steps

thanks


2018-03-18 22:01:14

Sherry Reitz

Thanks for the help.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.