**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: Custom Formats for Scientific Notation.

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 (9234) 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: **Custom Formats for Scientific Notation**.

**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!

Need to conditionally highlight an entire row based on the contents of a single cell in each row? This tip explains how ...

Discover MoreSorting ZIP Codes can be painless, provided all the codes are formatted the same. Here's how to do the sorting if you ...

Discover MoreMoving your custom formats into a formatting category other than "custom" isn't something you can do in Excel. Here's ...

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

2020-02-26 06:29:15

Peter

This method preserves the content of the cell as a number.

2020-02-24 11:54:19

Phillip

I'm sure one could combine the characters for exponents greater than 9, but for me, I think I will hardly ever use them.

Thanks for your hint on the correct ChrW codes to use.

2020-02-22 18:07:59

Pieter de la Court

Anyway, I decided to present my old userfunction in full. This has worked for me for all practical purposes. I just improved it a bit with Phillip's idea of optional parameters and Choose(). Suggestions for further improvements are very welcome.

Function SciNot(Val As Variant, Optional MinPosExp As Integer = 0, Optional MaxNegExp As Integer = 0) As String

' This function converts a number to a string that contains

' the number in scientific notation: xxx·10'''

' where ''' stands for the exponent, written as a superscript

' As it is impossible to set the characters to superscript in the function,

' unicode characters are used that are already in superscript format

' The optional parameters set the range of values that will not be converted to scientific notation

' MinPosExp must normally be a positive, and MaxNegExp a negative integer

' The default range excludes only the numbers that would result in an exponent of 0

' If you want any number to be in scientific notation (except 0), set MinPosExp to -1 or MaxNegExp to 1

' If the output string contains more decimals than desired, you can use the Round() function to reduce the

' resolution of the input value

' LIMITATION: The mantissa of the number is rounded to maximum 13 decimals

' This is to prevent effects of rounding errors

'

' This code is available for free use at your own risk. It is offered

' as is and no liability will be accepted by the programmer for

' any consequences of the use of this code'

'

' Programmed by Pieter de la Court, 2018

Dim i As Integer

Dim sExpon As String 'exponent as a string

Dim e As String 'exponent in Unicode (superscript) characters

Dim lPwr As Long 'Rounded power of ten of the number (used to determine the exponent)

Dim Sign As String 'Sign of the number

Dim dVal As Double 'Value of the number as a Double type

Dim Mant As String 'Mantissa for the number in scientific notation

Application.Volatile

If Len(Val) = 0 Then

SciNot = ""

Exit Function

End If

If Val = 0 Then

SciNot = "0"

Exit Function

End If

dVal = CDbl(Val)

Sign = ""

If dVal < 0 Then

Sign = "-"

dVal = -Val

End If

lPwr = Round(Log(dVal) / Log(10#) - 0.499999999999999, 0)

If lPwr >= MaxNegExp And lPwr <= MinPosExp Then

SciNot = CStr(Val)

Exit Function

End If

'Now create the exponent string

sExpon = CStr(lPwr)

e = ""

For i = 1 To Len(sExpon)

If Mid(sExpon, i, 1) = "-" Then

e = e & ChrW(8315)

Else

e = e & Choose(CInt(Mid(sExpon, i, 1)) + 1, ChrW(8304), ChrW(185), ChrW(178), _

ChrW(179), ChrW(8308), ChrW(8309), ChrW(8310), ChrW(8311), ChrW(8312), ChrW(8313))

End If

Next i

Mant = CStr(Round(Val / 10 ^ lPwr, 13))

SciNot = Mant & ChrW(183) & "10" & e

End Function

2020-02-21 16:42:54

Public Function SciNot(cell As Range, Optional places As Integer = 3) As String

'Displays numbers as text resembling scientific notation

Dim num As String

Dim choice As Double

Dim Power As Integer

Application.Volatile

' Check if number is positive or negative

Debug.Print "Sgn(Cell) = " & Sgn(cell.Value)

If (Sgn(cell.Value) < 1) Then

num = "-"

Else

num = ""

End If

Select Case Abs(cell.Value)

Case Is < 1

num = num & Round(10 ^ (Application.WorksheetFunction.Log10(Abs(cell.Value)) + Fix(Abs(Application.WorksheetFunction.Log10(Abs(cell.Value)) - 1))), places) & "×10"

choice = Abs(Fix(Application.WorksheetFunction.Log10(Abs(cell.Value)) - 1))

num = num & Choose(choice, ChrW(185) & ChrW(1470), ChrW(178) & ChrW(1470), ChrW(179) & ChrW(1470), ChrW(8308) & ChrW(1470))

SciNot = num ' ? ¹ ² ³ ? ? ? "^7", "^8",

Case Is >= 1

num = num & Round(10 ^ (Application.WorksheetFunction.Log10(Abs(cell.Value)) - Int(Abs(Application.WorksheetFunction.Log10(Abs(cell.Value))))), places) & " ×10"

choice = Abs(Fix(Application.WorksheetFunction.Log10(Abs(cell.Value)))) + 1

num = num & Choose(choice, ChrW(8304), ChrW(185), ChrW(178), ChrW(179), ChrW(8308), ChrW(8309), ChrW(8310), ChrW(8311), ChrW(8312), ChrW(8313))

SciNot = num

End Select

Debug.Print "SciNot = " & SciNot

End Function

The strange thing is that the negative sign in the exponent has to be placed after the actual exponent for it to display properly. I don't know why that is, but I can work with it.

2020-02-21 16:02:19

2019-04-10 13:25:48

Roy

.#####,"*10^3" (there's a period at the start)

then 132.52 displays as: .13252*10^3 and 31245132.58 displays as: 31245.13258*10^3

A leading "0" will change decimals from " .xyz " to " 0.xyz ".

Quite a few other variations are available. Adding extra commas before the text portion ups the ante on power of ten being displayed, just like when displaying money amounts as thousands or millions.

The " &10^3 " is just text though, not dynamic to follow the power of ten, and it shows even when one has a blank or 0 in the cell, however, adding " ;; " after the above format, or " ;;0 " has the desirable effect of removing it and not displaying anything, or displaying a bare "0".

While it will work for what you can plan for, and for about four of those, maximum, it is NOT dynamic and will not handle a wide range of powers of ten, just what you can fit in the four customizing places.

However, it WILL round using the 4/5 convention in what it displays (but leave the number itself untouched, as one would expect).

Speaking of "as one would expect"... using any format in TEXT() converts it to what would be displayed if used as a custom format. So any rounding happens for real when filtered through TEXT(). But as an actual custom format for a cell, the rounding is display only.

One can suppress the displayed result after a point (rounding effect still occurs, but rounding at the displayed "edge"). Using:

#,###,"*10^3" (NO period at the start)

will display " 31245132.58" as: " 31,245*10^3 "

and it can march off the powers of ten in sets of three places as far out as one likes.

Take the double quotes off the " *10^3 " and you get vaying odd effects. One result I get for the last number used is: 312451311111 3^3. Along with some other variations, it seems it is splitting the non-decimal portion of the number based upon the "10" in " *10^3 " into a left and right portion but not, say, the left 4 digits on the left, the right 2 digits on the right, but overlapping: the fourth digit appearing in both sides, say, and... make it " *100^3 " and you begin to see what I mean. Oh, and the " ^3 " remains as text added on, even though it is not in double quotes. Playing with the " * " in that text addon, making it an "x" for example, makes me think there's a repeating effect occurring as the digits repeated rather than just overlapped make the display fill the cell while using "x" just creates the odd overlap. Geez, just did five different things including making the 1 in 100 march left to the beginning of the display. Seems one can make any numeric character SET march left through the number. "22" for instance. Spaces as well, but apparently not alpha characters. But... extended characters... ¢ for example... work too.

Well, lots to explore here, eh. But it DOES do what Reid asked for, except for not being dynamic, and therefore limited to controlled and known value ranges.

2017-10-02 12:59:31

PawelG.

Chang e"0.0000000E+0" to whatever precision you need.

2017-05-09 10:17:34

govalley

it's great. thank you so much

2016-04-01 12:48:35

David Hagar

All you have to do is place a # at the beginning of the regular scientific notation to format in engineering notation!!!

format: 0.000E+00 #00.000 E+00

------------------------------------

number: 3.142E+14 314.159E+12

3.142E+12 03.142E+12

3.142E+11 314.159E+09

3.142E+10 31.416E+09

3.142E+09 03.142E+09

2014-11-15 10:13:49

Pieter de la Court

For a very long time I have been looking for a function that converts a number to text in the real scientific format, not the clumsy notation with E+23 or 10^-5.

Finally I think I found a solution.

Rather than formatting part of the string into superscript, the function uses Unicode characters for superscript "0" to "9" and superscript "-".

The basic VBA function for the exponent part is given below. This can easily be extended to a function doing the whole number with automatic mantissa and exponent calculation.

Function SciExp(Expon As Integer) As String

Dim sExpon As String

Dim i As Integer

Dim e As String

Dim Dig As String

Dim U As Long

sExpon = CStr(Expon)

e = ""

If Expon = 0 Then

SciExp = ""

Exit Function

End If

For i = 1 To Len(sExpon)

Dig = CStr(Mid(sExpon, i, 1))

Select Case Dig

Case "0"

U = 8304

Case "1"

U = 185

Case "2"

U = 178

Case "3"

U = 179

Case "4"

U = 8308

Case "5"

U = 8309

Case "6"

U = 8310

Case "7"

U = 8311

Case "8"

U = 8312

Case "9"

U = 8313

Case "-"

U = 8315

End Select

e = e & ChrW(U)

Next i

SciExp = ChrW(183) & "10" & e

End Function

Hope this will help a lot of scientists out there...

Pieter de la Court

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.

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

Copyright © 2020 Sharon Parq Associates, Inc.

## Comments