Keeping leading zeros in Microsoft Excel

There are situations where you need leading zero in your data. For instance, product codes (SKU) or ZIP codes.
For example, when copy and pasting “0800” into Excel, it will be converted to “800”.
That’s because when you copy and paste this data into Microsoft Excel, by default Excel tries to parse the value according to that cells format. Therefore, Excel recognizes data as numeric and strip out the leading zero.

To preserve the original value, before pasting change the cell format from “General” to “Text”.
Note: this can be done either by right clicking on the cell and changing the category:
excel1
Or changing the format directly from the “Home” tab:
excel2