Easy Method – How to Add Apostrophe in Excel Before and After Number – [2024]

Have you ever encountered issues with Excel misinterpreting your numbers and altering their format? Or perhaps you need to maintain leading zeros in your data? In either case, adding an apostrophe before and after a number in Excel can be the solution you’re looking for.

In this article, we will explore how to add an apostrophe in Excel before and after a number, along with its benefits and applications. By the end, you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to effortlessly incorporate this technique into your Excel workflows.

Add Apostrophe by Typing in the Cell

One way to add an apostrophe in Excel before a number is by typing it directly in the cell. This method is straightforward and can be done by following these steps:

  1. Format the cell as TEXT.

  2. Type the desired number in the cell, but include an apostrophe before the number.

  3. Press Enter to confirm the entry.

The cell will display the number with the apostrophe in front of it, indicating that it is treated as text. This method ensures that Excel recognizes the number as text and does not perform any calculations on it.

Note: The image above illustrates the option to add an apostrophe by typing in the cell.

Format Cells as Text or Use Custom Formatting

Another method to add an apostrophe in Excel before and after a number is by using formatting options or functions. Here are a few techniques you can try:

Format Cells as Text

Select the range of cells where you want to add the apostrophe. Right-click and choose “Format Cells.” In the Number tab, select “Text” as the category. Click OK to apply the formatting. Now, any numbers entered in those cells will be treated as text and display the apostrophe.

Use Custom Formatting

You can also use custom formatting to add an apostrophe before or after a number. Select the range of cells and press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells dialog box. In the Custom category, enter the desired format, such as “0000” for a four-digit number with a leading apostrophe. Click OK to apply the custom format.

Use the TEXT Function

If you want to keep the original numbers as numbers but display them with an apostrophe, you can use the TEXT function. In a separate column, use the formula =TEXT(A1,”‘0″) (replace A1 with the appropriate cell reference) to add an apostrophe to the value in cell A1. The result will be a text representation of the number with the apostrophe.

These methods give you more control over the formatting of the numbers with apostrophes, allowing you to apply it to specific ranges or use different formats depending on your requirements.


Adding an apostrophe before and after a number in Excel is a simple and effective technique that can be utilized in various situations. Whether you need to preserve leading zeros, ensure correct text recognition, or meet specific formatting requirements, incorporating an apostrophe can help you achieve the desired outcome. By familiarizing yourself with different methods, such as typing the apostrophe directly in the cell or utilizing formatting options and functions, you can easily integrate this technique into your Excel workflows.

Experiment with these approaches and select the one that best suits your needs. Keep in mind that the apostrophe functions solely as a visual indicator and does not impact calculations within Excel. It serves as a prefix or suffix to signify that the data should be treated as text rather than a numerical value. Remember to format cells as text, employ custom formatting, or use the TEXT function where necessary to ensure the apostrophe appears as desired.

By employing the techniques outlined in this article, including adding an apostrophe before a number in an Excel cell and exploring different formatting options, you can effectively manage leading zeros, prevent data misinterpretation, and maintain the required data integrity. Whether you are working with large datasets or handling complex calculations, this simple method can streamline your Excel operations and enhance your productivity.

Nilesh Kamble is Certified in Microsoft & GCP, having 13+ Years of Experience in IT Industry. As a Senior IT Employee, having vast experience on Windows Server, Windows Client, Powershell, Cloud Technologies. Passionate about Laptop, Mobiles & Other emerging Technologies.