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How to keep leading apostrophe when typing in Excel?

As we know, when you want to change a number to a text, you can enter an apostrophe symbol at the front like this: ‘123, and the number will be converted to a text and the apostrophe symbol will be hidden in the cell unless to view in the formula bar. But in some time, you want to keep the leading apostrophe when you are typing in Excel cell as the below screenshot shows.
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In this tutorial, you will find the solutions for handling this job.

Keep leading apostrophe by setting Format Cells

Keep leading apostrophe by directly typing

Note: the methods provided in this tutorial are tested in Excel 2021, there may be some different in different Excel verisions.


Keep leading apostrophe by setting Format Cells

1. Select the cells where you want to add apostrophe at the front of typing values, then right-click to select Format Cells in the context menu.
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2. In the Format Cells dialog, under Number tab, click Custom from the Category list, then go to Type textbox to enter '@. Click OK.
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Now when you type values in the selected cells, the leading apostrophe will be auto-added.
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Keep leading apostrophe by directly typing

You also can directly type the leading apostrophe in a cell.

Select a cell, type double apostrophe in the cell then enter your contents, and one apostrophe will be hidden, and the other one will be left. See screenshot:
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