Microsoft has fixed Excel’s Automatic Data Conversion, addressing an issue that impacted the scientific community.
According to The Verge, previous versions of Excel mangled the alphanumeric symbols scientists used to represent gene sequences. Excel would try to convert the symbols into dates.
Microsoft says it has fixed the issue in an upcoming release, giving users the ability to turn off the feature:
Tips and Tricks
- You can enable or disable the following options:
- Remove leading zeros from numerical text and convert to a number.
- Truncate numerical data to 15 digits of precision and convert to a number that may be displayed in scientific notation, if needed.
- Convert numerical data surrounding the letter “E” to a number displayed in scientific notation.
- Convert a continuous string of letters and numbers to a date.
- When you select the When loading a .csv file or similar file, notify me of any automatic number conversions check box, Excel displays a warning message when it detects that at least one of the optional automatic data conversions is enabled and about to occur when opening a .csv or .txt file. The message gives the ability to open the file once without converting the data.
The change should be a welcome improvement for scientists.