In Google Sheets when I enter


in a cell formatted for scientific notation, it automatically turns the number into


Though technically correct, this is really annoying when comparing numbers between cells. Is there a way to specify the power to which the number should be raised in Google Sheets?

3 Answers 3


To specify power of exponent, such as to powers of 3, 6, 9, etc, specify the number of places in the format.

e.g. ##0.00#E+##

Note that there are 3 places on the left of the decimal and 3 places on the right of the decimal.

The powers will increase or decrease by multiples of 3.

The exponential display can be formatted as you wish with 0 or #.

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  • Microsoft Excel seems to obey these formats, too. ##0.00#E+## ##0E+# ##0E# etc Feb 14 at 10:25
  1. Select the cell(s)
  2. Click on Format > Number > More formats > Custom number format...
  3. On the box write something like #0.0E+00
  4. Click Apply button

Note: The leading # is to set an optional digit


  • 1
    Thank you very much! Is there also a way to go in the other direction? (i.e. if I want 8E-13 to display as 0.8E-12)
    – Bunji
    Jun 14, 2019 at 16:38
  • 1
    @Bunji Try 0.0E+00 Jun 14, 2019 at 16:39
  • Unfortunately, I don't think this works. It still shows up as 8.0E-13
    – Bunji
    Jun 16, 2019 at 17:05

1.79769E+308 is the maximum number that Google Sheets is able to output. Respectively -1.79769E+308 is the negative value. Anything higher than that will output into error or gets down-corrected by Google Sheets.

Raising on the power in Google Sheets is done with ^ symbol like:


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