I'm trying to import a table from Excel following this question and answers. In doing so, strings are kept as strings though numeric values get interpreted as Real and some are subsequently rounded. I don't want this rounding to occur.

I think I've identified the fundamental behavior I'm having issues with. One can type (without copy/paste from a spreadsheet) this minimal example:

ImportString["10000.11", "TSV"],

which returns


This pattern repeats throughout the imported table, seemingly when the value is above 10,000.

Is there a simple way to cut/paste from a spreadsheet and not have Mathematica round values? I've created my own methods, but they feel like hacks. (Such as: import the entire table as String, then do StringSplit, Flatten, etc.)


1 Answer 1


This is actually illusory! Mathematica does not round values on import; it just shows you a rounded value in the output cell.

To see this, look at

ImportString["10000.11", "TSV"] // FullForm

If you want to change this display behavior, you can go to Mathematica > Preferences (command + , if you're on a Mac), select the Appearance tab, and change the number shown under Displayed Precision (which is by default 6).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'll mark this as correct, as it demonstrates that MMA knows all the digits are there. But applying ToString on the values in a table (or, to the value in the MWE above) returns a string with the unwanted rounded behavior. For my purposes, I am using MMA to format data from a spreadsheet for use in a LaTeX matrix; to use ToString, I find I can use ToString[InputForm[_value_]] and I get all digits, unrounded. $\endgroup$
    – GregH
    Mar 15, 2021 at 10:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Nice. By the way, since another way of doing this is ToString[value, FormatType -> InputForm], If you want, you can make that the default behavior for ToString: just evaluate SetOptions[ToString, FormatType -> InputForm]. Then (as long as you're in the same kernel session/notebook), ToString will not round automatically. (StandardForm also seems to work.) $\endgroup$
    – thorimur
    Mar 15, 2021 at 23:24

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.