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Scientific Notation in Google Sheets

If you’re dealing with very large or small numbers, using scientific notation is great because it can be easier to understand your data.

In Google Sheets, learning how to control scientific notation is important, because sometimes you may want to show your data in scientific notation, but other times you will not.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to use scientific notation, and how to turn off scientific notation in Google Sheets.

How to Enter Scientific Notation in Google Sheets

If your format is set to automatic, Google Sheets will already convert large numbers to scientific notation.

It will also understand when you enter scientific notation into a cell, so all you need to do is enter your number.

But if you’re entering a number and you want to force it to be in scientific notation you can change your format by following these steps.

  1. Select the cells that  you want to change to scientific notation format
  2. In the top menu select Format
  3. Then select Number
  4. Then select Scientific Notation

Scientific Notation Format

How to Turn Off Scientific Notation

The steps for turning off scientific notation are similar to turning it on. You will need to change your format from scientific notation to something else like number.

Here’s how:

  1. Highlight the cells that you want to turn off scientific notation for
  2. In the top menu select Format
  3. Select Number
  4. Then, select Number again

Scientific Notation Turn Off

You can also set a custom format depending on how you want your numbers to display.

Closing Thoughts

It’s important when working with large numbers to understand how Google Sheets will display your data. Learning to control how your spreadsheet displays your numbers is an important skill to develop.

Scientific notation definitely has its uses. Sometimes you want to turn it on, other times you will want to turn it off.

More Google Sheets Tutorials:
How to Round Numbers
How to Enter Subscript and Superscript