When export to Excel: "Number stored as text"

Hi all –

We are running custom exports of the data from my application. We are using
"Excel 2007" as the default file type and have “automatically convert dates
for excel” checked.

When we load up the excel file, all of the numerical cells in the
spreadsheet wind up being marked with the green-corner alert note, which
points out that that cell contains a “Number stored as text.” As a result,
I can not do summing or anything on those cells until I manually go through
and change to a simple number.

How can I get it so that the export arrives in excal showing those cells as
pure numbers?

Thank you much!

Hi Eric,

The easiest way to do this is to use a csv formatted export.

Cory

··· On Sun, Dec 28, 2014 at 11:16 PM, Eric Stephan wrote:

Hi all –

We are running custom exports of the data from my application. We are
using “Excel 2007” as the default file type and have “automatically convert
dates for excel” checked.

When we load up the excel file, all of the numerical cells in the
spreadsheet wind up being marked with the green-corner alert note, which
points out that that cell contains a “Number stored as text.” As a result,
I can not do summing or anything on those cells until I manually go through
and change to a simple number.

How can I get it so that the export arrives in excal showing those cells
as pure numbers?

Thank you much!


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Hi there – Thanks for the note …

I have been wondering about this… is there a chance that after further
development, the “export as Excel 2007” file type could work without
creating the “number stored as text” problem happening? Because for other
reasons, exporting straight to excel has many advantages, so I wonder if a
feature/bug request could potentially be taken care of by further adjusting
of the application by developers. Do you think so? Or is there something
"absolute" about that behavior when exporting straight to excel?

thx
eric

Hey Eric,

Nothing is impossible. :slight_smile:

That said, I don't expect this behavior to change anytime soon.
Unfortunately the library we use to make excel files is very unperformant
at large scale if you use any custom data types, so changing this behavior
would require rewriting the exports to work on a more performant library
(as well as finding and/or authoring that library).

We recommend using the commcare-export tool
https://confluence.dimagi.com/display/commcarepublic/CommCare+Data+Export+Tool
if you want more control over your exports and a steady-state workflow.

Cory

··· On Fri, Jan 9, 2015 at 3:20 AM, Eric Stephan wrote:

Hi there -- Thanks for the note ...

I have been wondering about this... is there a chance that after further
development, the "export as Excel 2007" file type could work without
creating the "number stored as text" problem happening? Because for other
reasons, exporting straight to excel has many advantages, so I wonder if a
feature/bug request could potentially be taken care of by further adjusting
of the application by developers. Do you think so? Or is there something
"absolute" about that behavior when exporting straight to excel?

thx
eric

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