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This is extremely frustrating. What's the quickest way to fix this on my end?
the numbers are not actually in the numbers format
The better way is this:
I inserted a new colum right of the one with the wrongly formatted values, then entered =VALUE(C5) (where C5 is the cell to the left) in the first line and copied the formula down to the end. The new column now contains numeric values of the column to the left.
Mark all of these new cells and click on "Copy", then click on the edit menu and do a "Paste Special - Values"