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When attempting to upload a CSV file containing zip codes with a leading zero the leading zero is dropped when attempting to save the file for import. How do I keep a leading zero in a CSV import file?

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This isn't really a CiviCRM issue, but it is helpful for getting data into CiviCRM or any system like it.

A postal code is a string of text despite looking (in most of the US) like an integer. A spreadsheet program doesn't know this, however, so it will save 012345 as 12345 by default.

If you're using a spreadsheet program to edit a file for import, just precede the zip code with a single quote ('). It will disappear, but the zip code will be interpreted as a string of text.

If you have a whole column of zip codes that are appearing as integers, you should insert a new column and use a function to rewrite the ones that are wrong. In LibreOffice, if you have the original zipcodes in column A, you'd enter the following formula in row 2 of your new column:

=IF(A2>9999,A2,"0"&A2)

Basically, it tacks a 0 on the front of the value if it's 9999 or lower.

Finally, if you're assembling a CSV from scratch, just be sure to quote the zip codes that have leading zeroes.

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When setting up the CSV file, make sure that the zip code (and zip code suffix) columns are defined as TEXT format columns, and that the keyed-in / imported data has the appropriate leading zeros. Then the export / upload processes should work as expected.

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