Leading Zeros in Excel vs. Modern CSV
Everyone knows that disappearing leading zeros in Excel is a problem, yet Microsoft never bothers to address this. It is a giant headache, but Modern CSV will never ever ever do that to you, promise! Here are some visual aids with bad fake data.
Excel hides leading zeros
Modern CSV always shows them
Leading zeros in all their glory (oh yeah, plus Modern CSV has a dark theme, which Excel doesn’t because Excel is old).
Adding leading zeros in Excel
Now, what if you want to add leading zeros in Excel? Say, every number should be 10 digits long and zero-padded if necessary. Well, you can Google it and read a long article showing 9 Ways to Add Leading Zeros in Excel, none of which look especially straightforward.
Adding leading zeros in Modern CSV
In Modern CSV, there’s one way to add leading zeros it and it’s straight-forward: the Zero-Fill Whole Numbers command.
It’ll then ask you how many zeros you want:
And mission accomplished:
It operates on every selected cell at once, so you can do a whole column or even several columns super quickly.
I should add that this feature is only available in the Premium version of Modern CSV. Of course, you can use the Free version to do all sorts of things, like:
- Load ultra-large files (no file size limit on the free version)
- Insert/Remove/Duplicate rows and columns
- Open files with a variety of delimiters and character encodings
- Operate on multiple rows/columns cells at once
- Customize keyboard shortcuts
If you upgrade to Premium, you get the following functionality:
- Filter and hide rows and columns
- Join and split cells, rows, and columns
- Transpose whole tables or segments
- Add leading zeros with the Zero-Fill Whole Numbers command
- A whole bunch more