Microsoft Excel Import from CSV Tip for Printing Correctly Formatted Zip Codes on Address Labels

When you get a list from a client in CSV (comma separated values) format that you’re going to print address labels, or any kind of project , there are occasions when you’d like to import and work on the list in excel. However, when you import your data into Microsoft Excel 2016 and earlier versions, the zip code field, if you have one is recognized as a number. So after the import, all of the records with leading zeros, get stripped of leading zeros. All of the states in the northeastern united states with leading zeros are turned into 4 digit numbers. The Puerto Rico zip codes have two leading zeros and show up as three digit numbers.

The way around this is pretty straightforward:

1. Open your CSV file in a text editing program like notepad or Notepad++ (my personal favorite), and select and copy all of the data to the clipboard. You can use Ctrl-a, then Ctrl-c.
2. Open a blank Excel document, click inside the first cell, Cell A1, and the paste entire contents of the clipboard by typing Ctrl-v.
3. The first column should be selected after pasting, if not, select the first column, and click Data, then “Text to Columns”
4. Chose Delimited, and click Next, then choose Comma and ” for text qualifier then click Next
5. Choose “Text” for column data format for each column. (unless you have number that you need to sum()). The Zip code field format should be formatted as Text. Although it’s a number, keeping it formatted as Text will preserve the leading zeros.

Now you’ll have correct zip codes with leading zeros.