Scientific Notation in Excel

Excel Scientific Notation

Scientific Notation in excel is a special way of writing small and large numbers which helps us to compare and use the same in calculations.

How to Format Scientific Notation in Excel? (with Examples)

You can download this Scientific Notation Excel Template here – Scientific Notation Excel Template

Example #1 – For Positive Exponent

Now we will see how to work on excel with the formatting of scientific notation. Below are the data for this example that I use. Copy the above number list and paste it into your worksheet area.

Scientific Notation in Excel Example 1

Copy and paste the first column numbers to the next column.

 Example 1.0

Now by selecting the range, click on the drop-down list in excelDrop-down List In ExcelA drop-down list in excel is a pre-defined list of inputs that allows users to select an more of “Number Format.”

Scientific Notation in Excel Example 1.1.1

At the bottom, you can see the “Scientific” formatting option. Click on this to apply this formatting.


Now scientific formatting is applied to large and small numbers.

Scientific Notation in Excel Example1.3

Now take an example of the first instance. General formatting number was 4750528335 and scientific number is 4.75E+09 i.e. 4.75 x 109 (10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10).


Now look at A6 cell value, general formatting value was 49758 and scientific value is 4.98E+04 i.e. 4.98 * 104 (10 * 10 * 10 * 10).

Scientific Notation in Excel Example1.5

As you can see, the decimal value should have been 4.97; instead, it shows as 4.98. This is because after two digits of decimal third digit value is “5,” so it is rounded to the nearest number, i.e., instead of 97, it will be 98.


If you don’t want to see this rounding off to the nearest values, then you can increase the decimal value from 2 to 3 digits.

Scientific Notation in Excel Example1.7

Now we can see scientific numbers in three-digits.


Example #2 – For Negative Exponent

You need to know how negative exponent works with excelExponent Works With ExcelIn Excel, exponents are the same exponential function as in mathematics, where a number is raised to a power or exponent of another number. Exponents can be used by two methods: the power function or the exponent symbol on the more scientific notation. Now, look at the below image.

Scientific Notation in Excel Example2

First value is 0.0055 which is formatted as 5.5E-03 i.e. 5.5 x 10-3


Now look at the second number 4.589, which is formatted as 4.6E+00, i.e., 4.6 x 100

Scientific Notation in Excel Example2.2.0

Things to Remember

  • First, you need to understand how scientific notation works in mathematics and then learn the same in excel.
  • We can only change the decimal values like 2, 3, and 4 digits.
  • Excel uses scientific format automatically for large and small numbers of 12 digit values or more.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to scientific notation in excel. Here we discuss how to use scientific formatting in excel for positive and negative exponent along with examples and downloadable excel template. Below you can find some useful excel VBA articles –

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