Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Adding Leading Zeroes to ZIP Codes.

Adding Leading Zeroes to ZIP Codes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 15, 2018)

1

When you import ZIP Codes from a text file into an Excel workbook, it is not uncommon for Excel to translate the values as numbers rather than as ZIP Codes. This results in leading zeroes being dropped from the ZIP Codes, which can obviously cause problems later using the data for its intended purpose.

One solution, of course, is to simply change the display format used for ZIP Code cells. (Excel provides a special format for ZIP Codes, available through the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.) This may work for the display, but the underlying data is still missing the leading zeroes.

If you want the underlying data to actually include the leading zeroes, it is best to use a macro that goes through and adds leading zeroes to the information in a cell. The following macro does just that:

Sub MakeZIPText()
    Dim ThisCell As Range

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    'Make sure format is text
    Selection.NumberFormat = "@"
    For Each ThisCell In Selection
        'Strip the leading apostrophe, if any
        If Left(ThisCell, 1) = "'" Then
            ThisCell = Mid(ThisCell, 2, 99)
        End If
        'It's a 5-digit ZIP Code
        If Len(ThisCell) <= 5 Then
            ThisCell = "'" & Right("00000" & ThisCell, 5)
        Else
            ThisCell = "'" & Right("00000" & ThisCell, 10)
        End If
    Next ThisCell
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

To use the macro, simply select the range of cells containing the ZIP Codes, then run the macro. The macro actually changes the cell contents—no longer will the cells contain numeric values (the cause of the original problem), but they will contain text values. This allows the leading zeroes to appear at the beginning of the ZIP Codes.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9663) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Adding Leading Zeroes to ZIP Codes.

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

Checking for Sentences Beginning with Conjunctions

In my English classes in junior high, I would get marked down if I started sentences with a conjunction. ("There's a ...

Discover More

Editing the Custom Spelling Dictionaries

When spell-checking a worksheet, Excel relies on both built-in and custom dictionaries. Here's how to edit the content of ...

Discover More

Printing a Bookmark List with Contents

Bookmarks can be a great tool in Word, allowing you to easily remember the location of desired blocks of text. If you ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Offering Options in a Macro

It is often helpful to get user input within a macro. Here's a quick way to present some options and get the user's response.

Discover More

Macro Fails after Filter

When developing a macro that others may use, you might want to test it out to make sure it works properly if a filter is ...

Discover More

Checking if a Workbook is Already Open

Knowing if a workbook is already open can be a prerequisite to your macro working correctly. Here's how to check it out.

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 6 + 9?

2018-11-15 16:58:47

Jim

Seems to me that the following is much simpler...

- Select the row, column or range into which the zip codes will be imported
- Right-click in the selection, select "Format Cells..."
- In the field "Type" enter "00000" (without the quotes)
- Numeric values entered into this range will automatically be formatted with leading zeroes...for example,
- If there are such zip codes as 00000, 00001, 00012, 00123. 01234, etc... they will appear as such


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.