Our Suggested Workarounds
Excel launched from an application
The data must be pre-processed in the upstream application. For example, a space
character or an apostrophe can be concatenated in front of the gene name.
Text file opened by Excel
Open the text file with Excel, and select "text" mode for the desired column(s) in
the Text Import Wizard Step 3 of 3.
Text copied from another application (such as a text processor) and pasted into
a pre-opened Excel spreadsheet
Within the pre-opened spreadsheet, prior to pasting, use Format -> cells to specify
manually, on a one-by-one basis, which columns of the recipient spreadsheet are to be
treated as text. This works for copying from several text processors tested on Mac OS
10.2. However, changing the format of the spreadsheet column to text fails
to solve the SymbolMutation conversion when one pastes data from a Microsoft Word file.
(A complex strategy combining both a text specification and Paste Special -> Paste: As: Text is required)