TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Leading Zeros?

Re: Leading Zeros?

William Warren (
Wed, 16 Feb 2005 15:32:15 -0500

AES wrote:

> I've just encountered an annoying hassle where proper handling of
> archival bibliographic data requires keeping track of leading zeros in
> ID numbers; and these seem like informed groups to ask if anyone has
> comments or observations on other electronic or online systems that
> require or even allow leading zeros?

> Specifically the Am Phys Soc now identifies articles not by volume and
> page numbers but by volume and a six-digit "article number" which
> sometimes does and sometimes does not have an initial zero -- but if
> it does you _must_ keep it for various bibliographic and online
> citations to work properly. A few quick tests show that the default
> behavior is to automatically and irretrievably discard leading zeros
> on integer numbers keyed into an Excel worksheet cell or a Mathematic
> list. One of my bank accounts prints my account number with three
> leading zeros, but won't accept them in the Account Number field for
> online login. On the other hand for another ID card I have, you
> _must_ type the leading zeros.

> Are there any kind of published refs or computer standards or human
> interface guidelines on the use of leading zeros? ZIP codes use 'em,
> phone numbers don't?

In a spreadsheet, simply format the column as "Text", and the leading
zeroes will be entered unchanged.

If you are using a computer program to retrieve data, consult the
programming menu for the field definition which is equivalent to text.



(Filter noise for direct replies.)

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Barry Margolin: "Re: Leading Zeros?"
Go to Previous message: Brad Houser: "Re: Leading Zeros?"
May be in reply to: AES: "Leading Zeros?"
Next in thread: Barry Margolin: "Re: Leading Zeros?"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page