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Opening CSVs in Excel without losing leading zeroes

The problem

A common problem when dealing with CDR files is Excel's frustrating way of opening CSV files and omitting leading zeroes in any fields with phone numbers. This leads to problems such as incomplete phone numbers, the inability to match customers using their CLIs and more.

The solution

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to open CDR CSV files without losing the leading zeroes within Excel:

1. Open Excel and start a blank workbook. Go to the "Data" tab, and click on "From Text".

2. Choose the CSV or text file you want to open from your computer.

3. Choosing a file brings up the Text Import Wizard. In Step one, select Delimited, and if the CDR file has a header row, tick "My data has headers.". Click on Next.

4. In step 2, choose the appropriate delimiter for the file. In most CDR files, this is typically a Comma. Click on Next.

5. In Step 3, go through every column that holds phone numbers, click on it, then select the "Text" option. This will make Excel treat that column as text rather than a number, and any leading zeroes will therefore be included.

6. Click on Finish, then in the Import Data window, just click OK and the data will all be imported in the correct format.

Updated on 2017-02-01 10:36:13 +0000

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