Formatting Zip Code and Date / Time fields for importing into Salesforce
When importing data into Salesforce, it's important to have number fields formatted correctly. Imports will actually fail, if Date fields are not formatted properly. The two types of fields to watch out for are Zip Codes and Date / Times. When you open a csv using Microsoft Excel, Excel will apply a default formatting to these fields that is incorrect. Here is how you can avoid errors.
First, we open an Organizations csv file in Excel.
Note that leading zeroes are removed from all Zip Codes. The Zip Code for Princeton, NJ should be 08543. Instead, we have 8543.
Right click the column and select Format Cells...
Pick the appropriate formatting.
Select the Number tab. Then select Special under Category and Zip Code under Type.
Now, Zip Codes are formatted properly.
Next, we open an Occurrence csv file in Excel
Note that the dates are formatted such that the time only includes hours and minutes. In order to import this data, Salesforce requires hours, minutes and seconds.
Right click the columns you want to format and select Format Cells...
Enter the formatting that you want.
Click the Number tab and select Custom under Category. Enter "mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm:ss" under Type. You will have to enter this yourself. It will not be an option in the picklist.