I'm gathering some data in a Google Spreadsheet, there's a column for phone numbers and when trying to enter a phone number (e.g., +54 11 4785 7992) the spreadsheet automatically tries to make a formula or something like that and shows #ERROR.

I tried to set the cells as PLAIN TEXT but it continues assuming that I want a formula and not just plain text and I don't know why.

Any help?


It's the plus sign.

Prepend your text with a single quote ('). That should allow you to display the number as you want.

  • This seems like a workaround; you can append any character at all and prevent the cell from being interpreted as a number. The quote is still visible. Is there a better way? – fatuhoku Jul 4 '13 at 10:51
  • I take that back; omit any spaces in the number and the single quote will disappear. – fatuhoku Jul 4 '13 at 10:55
  • One side note: If specifically chosen "Plain Text" for cell number type in given range of cells, above method will not work and will try to show that single quote (for which it adds another single quote as prefix). Strange thing is even hough you specify that what you enter supposed to be treated as text, it deletes plus sign. So when you type numbers beginning with plus or minus sign you can use above method (adding single quote) but when number type is defined as "Normal" for that range. Should it be considered as a bug? – Bogac Aug 1 '13 at 11:20

You just need to wrap your text in formula: =("+1+2+3-123")

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