I've been using Google Sheets to create a record of car parts, entering:

  • each part's serial number,
  • the quantity of that particular part,
  • the name of the part and
  • the location where I'm storing the part.

I have entered over 800 different parts now with multiple numbers for each but looking back I have noticed that some of the amount numbers seem to have 'decimalised' at the start of the sheet. I have only been using whole numbers and the formatting on all the cells is set to plain text. I can redo the 70 or so that have corrupted but I'm worried that it could happen again.

Can anyone explain how I might prevent this happening?


You can prepend the value with a single quote (') and Google Spreadsheets would take that input as a string. Like '19.


The easiest way may be to ensure that the column is formatted as Plain text before any data entry. Automatic conversions, say from 0123 to 123, take place on data entry and are "once off" - applying Text format to 123 does not revert to 0123 even if that was what was entered. (Google does not remember 0123 as such, even in Revision History.)

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