For reports which are generated in CSV (comma separated) format, it is easy to import the report into Microsoft Excel. By using Excel's text import wizard as follows you can ensure that the data is imported correctly and leading zeros are not dropped. (These steps are as for Excel 2000 and may differ in other versions.)

Note: in the CSV file, where an item of data itself contains a comma,the whole item will be enclosed in double quotes. This is then recognised by Excel as being a single field.

1. Clicked the button or link to download the file in CSV format.

2. Save to your chosen location.

3. Start Excel. You will need a blank workbook open.

4. From menu: Data, Get External Data, Import Text File. (If the menu options are greyed out this could be because you do not have a workbook open). Browse for the file you have saved. You may need to set 'files of type' drop-down box to 'All Files (*.*)' to see your file. Having selected your file click 'Import'.

5. It will start the Text Import wizard at step 1 of 3. Ensure that the 'Delimited' option is selected. Click Next.

6. Step 2 of 3. In the delimiters section tick 'Comma'. The text qualifier box should show the double-quote symbol. Click Next.

7. Step 3 of 3. You now need to set every column to be data format 'Text'. The first column will initially be highlighted. Move the horizontal cursor as far as it will go to the right, and holding the shift key down, click the column heading on the very last column. You should now have every column highlighted together.

Click the 'Text' data format. It will now say 'Text' in the header of every column.

8. Click Finish.

9. It may ask you 'Where do you want to put the data?'. It will allow you to click into any cell on the blank worksheet to determine where the data should go. Click 'OK' to proceed.

10. The data should now appear in the spreadsheet. Where column headings are included these will appear in the top row. Check that fields have not lost leading zeros where applicable.