Aug 13, 2013

How to fix trailing minus signs in Excel?

When I import data sometimes I get a minus sign after the number (1234-) instead of before (-1234) to display a negative value. How can I fix it so the minus sign is in front of the numbers when I import data in Excel 2013?


I’ve ran into this before, actually. I think it is caused by the default settings in the Advanced Text Import Settings. Anyway, there is a quick way to resolve it: 


A. Select the imported data that has the trailing minus signs. You can select it all, including positive values, you don’t have to just choose the ones with negative value. 

B. Select Data>Data Tools>Text to Columns.

C. In the Text to Column box that pops up, just click Finish, and it should fix it. 


I learned this from a book called 101 Excel Tips or something like that and still have it on a sticky note next to my desk. Hope this helps you out. 


If you give little more detail as from where you are importing data to excel and how, help can be given.

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