I have spooled a file to CSV using sqlplus. Everything works great but there is one issue. I have mobile numbers which start with 0, for example 04589 and 02586.

After the spooling is complete, 0s are truncated and the end results are 4589 and 2586.

I want the output to display in CSV as:

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    Not nearly enough information for a meaningful answer. What is the column data type? What does your query look like? When you view query results in SQL*Plus, how do the look? You're not opening the CSV file in Excel, are you? – mustaccio Jan 8 '19 at 16:27
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    I’m voting to close this question because it needs more details but has been abandoned by the author. – mustaccio Aug 26 '20 at 19:28

String are written between "" in the CSV. So your datatype is not string type, or the tool you use for viewing the CSV automatically converts and trims it.

[oracle@o71 ~]$ sqlplus -S bp/bp
set markup csv on
set echo off
spool 1.csv
select '04589' as phone from dual
union all select '02586' from dual;


[oracle@o71 ~]$ cat 1.csv


[oracle@o71 ~]$

Simplest way to achieve this:

concatenate your column, which has leading zero, with prefix CHR(28) and you are done.


spool file1.csv
select numbercol from dual;
select CHR(28)||numbercol from table;
spool off;

CHR(28) is an invisible char representation of a ASCII value.


What has worked for me when exporting/importing to csv while keeping my leading zeros is using LPad and length in unison. It might slow down larger queries but I found it to be useful.

  • This is quite terse; your answer could be more valuable if it explained why this piece of code addressed the OP's requirements. – mustaccio Oct 6 '20 at 0:15

It's not an Oracle issue. It's an Excel issue, unfortunately.
I've looked high and low for the answer myself with zero success. I have tried formatting the column in the spreadsheet, but at that point, the horse has left the barn so to speak.

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    In some circumstances Excel can be the issue when converting/opening CSV files, but without more information/details, it's hard to make that assumption. – John A Jan 8 '19 at 19:00
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    True. Opening the csv in a plain-text editor will yield the proper formatting. My personal experience shows that opening in MS Excel truncates the leading zero. – RAF Jan 8 '19 at 19:58
  • It's possible that writing the number out in double quotes (from Oracle to CSV) would make Excel load it as text. – RDFozz Jan 8 '19 at 21:58

In Excel: Data>Import from CSV (rather than just double-clicking the CSV file to open it).

  • @Ryan - please register your account - that will give you the ability to login on multiple devices and receive notifications from the site etc. Also, please take the tour - thanks! – Hannah Vernon Dec 17 '20 at 20:17
  • Regarding your answer, how does this prevent the .csv data export from dropping leading zeros on numbers? – Hannah Vernon Dec 17 '20 at 20:17

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