Use Scientific Notation in Excel & Google Sheets

Written by

Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Laura Tsitlidze

Last updated on April 3, 2023

This tutorial demonstrates how to use scientific notation in Excel and Google Sheets.


add scientific notation


Add Scientific Notation

By default, Excel uses scientific notation to shorten large numbers. If you have removed scientific notation (e.g., 1,23E+10), you can easily bring it back. Say you have the following number in cell B2.


add scientific notation


  1. To add scientific notation, and make the number format shorter, select the cell (B2),
  2. In the Ribbon, go to the Home tab.
  3. In the Number Format drop-down, choose General.


add scientific notation 2


When you change the cell format back to General, Excel automatically adds scientific notation.


add scientific notation 3


Scientific Notation in Google Sheets

Google Sheets also defaults to a scientific notation format for long numbers.


scientific notation gs show


If you have removed scientific formatting, however, you can easily add it back.

In the Menu, select Format > Number and then select Scientific.


scientific notation gs add back


The number will then once again be formatted with scientific notation.

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