Re: Preserving leading zeros in a CSV

You didn't specifically say that you're opening the file with Excel,
but we can guess from your symptoms that's what you're doing.

The most direct answer is: No, there isn't any way to create a CSV
that preserves leading zeros using CPYTOIMPF. This is because CSVs
inherently do not store type information, and certainly not type
information that is honored by Excel. Excel aggressively tries to
interpret everything as a number if it can. And every number in Excel
is (roughly) a double-precision float, so it doesn't have enough
precision to store your "number" precisely, even after disregarding
the leading zeros.

There are kludges. If you can write a program to create the CSV, then
you have a few options at your disposal. The main thing, if you
absolutely must stick to CSV, and the file will be opened in Excel, is
to turn your data into a formula which evaluates to a string:


But a better option, if you can swing it, is to generate Excel files
(native Excel, either .xls or .xlsx) rather than CSVs. There are a
host of ways to do this, either with RPG or other programming

If you can't do the programming, and this is a one-time (or extremely
rare) task, then I recommend trying the import wizard, as suggested by


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