Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Adding Leading Zeroes to ZIP Codes.

Adding Leading Zeroes to ZIP Codes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 28, 2015)

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. This may work for the display, but the underlying data is still missing the leading zeroes. A better solution is 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 (2598) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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

Catching Single-Letter Spelling Errors

There have been times when I've reviewed my writing and found lots of "lone letters," detached by a single space from the ...

Discover More

Invalid Names when Opening Workbook

Don't you hate opening a workbook and seeing error messages? If you see a message that some "invalid names" were detected ...

Discover More

Viewing More than Two Places in a Worksheet

If your worksheet gets big enough, it is easy to spend a lot of time navigating back and forth between different areas. ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Pulling Cell Names into VBA

Excel allows you to define names that can refer to either ranges of cells or to constant information, such as formulas. ...

Discover More

Getting a File Name

Does your macro need to allow the user to specify a particular file name that should be used by the macro? Here's a quick ...

Discover More

Swapping Two Strings

Strings are used quite frequently in macros. You may want to swap the contents of two string variables, and you can do so ...

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 six more than 8?

2015-03-31 09:23:35

Ira

How can this be modified to use with Social Security numbers where sometimes the leading zero is dropped and other times two leading zeros are dropped?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.