# How to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel Using Formulas?

If you’ve ever worked with data in Microsoft Excel, you may have encountered a situation where you need to **convert text to numbers**. This can happen when data is imported from external sources or entered manually, and Excel interprets the numerical values as text. Converting text to numbers is essential for performing mathematical calculations, sorting data, and ensuring data consistency. In this article, we’ll explore various **Excel formulas** that you can use to effectively convert text to numbers.

## Using the VALUE Function to Convert Text to Numbers

The **VALUE function** in Excel is specifically designed to convert text to numbers. It takes a single argument, which is the text value you want to convert. Here’s how you can use the VALUE function:

- Select the cell where you want the converted number to appear.
- Type the formula
`=VALUE(cell_reference)`

, replacing`cell_reference`

with the address of the cell containing the text value. - Press Enter to see the converted number.

For example, if cell A1 contains the text value “123”, you can use the formula `=VALUE(A1)`

to convert it to the number 123.

### Handling Text with Currency Symbols

If the text value includes a currency symbol, such as “$” or “€”, the VALUE function will still work as long as the currency symbol is followed by a valid number. For instance, if cell A1 contains the text value “$123”, the formula `=VALUE(A1)`

will convert it to the number 123.

However, if the currency symbol is not recognized by Excel or if it’s not followed by a valid number, the VALUE function will return a `#VALUE!`

error. In such cases, you may need to use additional functions like LEFT, RIGHT, or MID to extract the numeric portion of the text before applying the VALUE function.

### Converting Dates Stored as Text

Excel has specific date formats that it recognizes, such as “MM/DD/YYYY” or “DD-MM-YYYY”. If a date is stored as text in one of these formats, the VALUE function can convert it to a valid Excel date. For example, if cell A1 contains the text value “01/01/2023”, the formula `=VALUE(A1)`

will convert it to the corresponding date value.

Keep in mind that Excel stores dates as sequential numbers, where 1 represents January 1, 1900. So, when you convert a date text to a number using the VALUE function, you’ll see the corresponding sequential number instead of the formatted date.

## Combining the VALUE Function with TRIM

Sometimes, text values may contain leading or trailing spaces, which can prevent the VALUE function from working correctly. To handle such cases, you can combine the **VALUE function with the TRIM function**. The TRIM function removes any extra spaces from the text. Here’s how you can use this combination:

- Select the cell where you want the converted number to appear.
- Type the formula
`=VALUE(TRIM(cell_reference))`

, replacing`cell_reference`

with the address of the cell containing the text value. - Press Enter to see the converted number.

For instance, if cell A1 contains the text value ” 123 “, you can use the formula `=VALUE(TRIM(A1))`

to convert it to the number 123.

### Removing Non-numeric Characters

In some cases, the text value may contain non-numeric characters along with the number. To convert such text to a number, you can use the TRIM function in combination with other functions like SUBSTITUTE or REPLACE to remove the unwanted characters before applying the VALUE function.

For example, if cell A1 contains the text value “123abc”, you can use the formula `=VALUE(TRIM(SUBSTITUTE(A1,"abc","")))`

to remove the “abc” characters and convert the remaining “123” to a number.

## Multiplying by 1 to Convert Text to Numbers

Another simple method to convert text to numbers is by **multiplying the text value by 1**. This technique works well when the text value is a valid number without any formatting issues. Here’s how you can apply this method:

- Select the cell where you want the converted number to appear.
- Type the formula
`=cell_reference*1`

, replacing`cell_reference`

with the address of the cell containing the text value. - Press Enter to see the converted number.

For example, if cell A1 contains the text value “123”, you can use the formula `=A1*1`

to convert it to the number 123.

### Multiplying by 1 vs. VALUE Function

While multiplying by 1 is a quick way to convert text to numbers, it may not always work as expected. If the text value contains any non-numeric characters or formatting that Excel doesn’t recognize, multiplying by 1 will return a `#VALUE!`

error.

On the other hand, the VALUE function is more robust and can handle a wider range of text formats. It intelligently tries to extract the numeric value from the text, even if it contains additional characters or formatting.

Therefore, it’s generally recommended to use the VALUE function for converting text to numbers, as it provides more flexibility and reliability compared to multiplying by 1.

## Using the TEXT Function with VALUE Function

In some cases, you may have numbers stored as text with specific formatting, such as comma separators or currency symbols. To convert these formatted text values to numbers, you can use the **TEXT function** along with the VALUE function. The TEXT function allows you to specify the desired number format. Here’s how you can use this combination:

- Select the cell where you want the converted number to appear.
- Type the formula
`=VALUE(TEXT(cell_reference, "format"))`

, replacing`cell_reference`

with the address of the cell containing the text value and`"format"`

with the desired number format. - Press Enter to see the converted number.

For instance, if cell A1 contains the text value “$1,234.56”, you can use the formula `=VALUE(TEXT(A1, "0.00"))`

to convert it to the number 1234.56.

### Handling Different Number Formats

The TEXT function allows you to specify various number formats to match the formatting of the text value. Some common number formats include:

- “0”: Whole numbers without decimals
- “0.00”: Numbers with two decimal places
- “$#,##0.00”: Currency values with comma separators and two decimal places

By matching the number format in the TEXT function to the format of the text value, you can ensure a successful conversion to numbers.

Original Text Value | Formula | Converted Number |
---|---|---|

“123” | `=VALUE(A1)` | 123 |

” 123 “ | `=VALUE(TRIM(A1))` | 123 |

“123” | `=A1*1` | 123 |

“$1,234.56” | `=VALUE(TEXT(A1, "0.00"))` | 1234.56 |

## Handling Errors

When converting text to numbers, you may encounter errors if the text value cannot be properly converted. Some common errors include:

**#VALUE!**: This error occurs when the text value contains non-numeric characters that cannot be converted to a number.**#NAME?**: This error happens when Excel doesn’t recognize the function or named range used in the formula.

To handle these errors, you can use the **IFERROR function** in combination with the conversion formulas. The IFERROR function allows you to specify an alternative value or action if an error occurs. Here’s an example:

`=IFERROR(VALUE(A1), "Invalid")`

In this case, if the VALUE function encounters an error while converting the text in cell A1, the formula will return the text “Invalid” instead of displaying an error.

### Using IFERROR with Custom Error Messages

Instead of displaying a generic error message, you can use the IFERROR function to provide more informative error messages based on the specific situation. For example:

`=IFERROR(VALUE(A1), "Not a valid number")`

This formula will display the message “Not a valid number” if the VALUE function fails to convert the text in cell A1 to a number.

You can also use the IFERROR function to perform alternative actions or calculations when an error occurs. For instance:

`=IFERROR(VALUE(A1), 0)`

In this case, if the VALUE function encounters an error, the formula will return 0 instead of an error message. This can be useful when you want to treat unconvertible text values as 0 in your calculations.

## Converting an Entire Column of Text Values to Numbers

If you have a column filled with text values that need to be converted to numbers, you can apply the conversion formula to the entire column at once. Here’s how:

- Select the cell at the top of the column where you want the converted numbers to appear.
- Type the appropriate conversion formula, such as
`=VALUE(A1)`

, assuming the text values are in column A. - Press Enter to apply the formula to the first cell.
- Double-click the fill handle (the small square at the bottom-right corner of the selected cell) to automatically copy the formula down the entire column.

Excel will apply the conversion formula to each cell in the column, converting the text values to numbers.

### Converting Multiple Columns

If you have multiple columns containing text values that need to be converted to numbers, you can follow a similar process:

- Select the cell at the top of the first column where you want the converted numbers to appear.
- Type the appropriate conversion formula for the first column.
- Press Enter to apply the formula to the first cell.
- Click and drag the fill handle across the adjacent cells in the same row to copy the formula to the other columns.
- Double-click the fill handle to automatically copy the formulas down the entire columns.

This method allows you to convert text to numbers in multiple columns simultaneously, saving you time and effort.

## Final Thoughts

Converting text to numbers in Excel is a common task that can be accomplished using various formulas and functions. The **VALUE function** is the primary tool for this purpose, and it can be combined with other functions like **TRIM** and **TEXT** to handle different scenarios. Additionally, multiplying the text value by 1 is a quick and simple method for conversion.

By mastering these formulas and techniques, you’ll be able to efficiently **convert text to numbers in Excel**, enabling you to perform calculations, sort data, and maintain data consistency. Remember to handle potential errors using the **IFERROR function** and apply the conversion formulas to entire columns when necessary.

## FAQs

### What is the easiest way to convert text to numbers in Excel?

### How can I convert text to numbers if the text contains leading or trailing spaces?

### Can I convert text to numbers by multiplying the text by 1?

### How can I convert text with specific number formatting to numbers in Excel?

### What should I do if I encounter errors while converting text to numbers?

Vaishvi Desai is the founder of Excelsamurai and a passionate Excel enthusiast with years of experience in data analysis and spreadsheet management. With a mission to help others harness the power of Excel, Vaishvi shares her expertise through concise, easy-to-follow tutorials on shortcuts, formulas, Pivot Tables, and VBA.