Table of Contents
Excel Convert Text to Numbers
It is one of the common problems that numbers in Excel are stored in text format in excel. This is a dangerous thing especially when you are doing the calculation in a large amount of data.
Excel formulas won’t give results the calculations if the number is not in the correct format rather it gives the result as zero.
If the result gives zero then we can sense there is something wrong in it but if the 2 numbers are in numbers format and 3 numbers are in the text then the calculation will give only the result of those 3 numbers.
If you at the above image 2nd number and the 5th number are in number format and all the remaining 3 numbers are in text format. SUM formula is applied form F1:F5 but since the 2nd and 5th numbers are in number format SUM function calculates only those two numbers and gives the result as 310 (110+200 = 310).
In this example, I have used only 5 rows but what if there are hundreds of values are. We do not know which value it is taking and which value it is ignoring.
In this article, I will explain you the ways of converting text-formatted numbers to number format and make the calculation simpler.
How to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel?
There are so many ways we can convert text to numbers in excel. We will see one by one.
Example #1 – Using quick Convert Text to Numbers Excel Option.
This is probably the simplest of ways in excel. Lot people use the apostrophe ( ‘ ) before they enter the numbers in excel.
Look at the above sample image apostrophe is entered before the numbers are entered that is why excel showing this as an error through error handler.
Now apply the SUM function to the above numbers.
The result of the SUM function is zero. We can fix this issue by using the error handler option that is showing in each cell.
Step 1: Select the data.
Step 2: Click on the error handle box and select Convert to Numbers option.
Step 3: This would convert the text-formatted numbers to number format instantly and now the SUM function-working fine and showing the accurate result.
Example #2 – Using Paste Special Cell Formatting Method.
Now I am moving to another of changing the text to numbers. Here I am using Paste Special method. Consider the same data that I have used in the previous example.
Step 1: Type the number either zero or 1 in any one cell.
Step 2: Now copy that number. (I have entered the number 1 in the cell C2).
Step 3: Now select the numbers list.
Step 4: Now press ALT + E + S (Excel shortcut key to paste special method) and this will open up the below dialogue box. Select multiply option. (You can try divide also)
Step 5: This would instantly convert the text to numbers instantly and SUM formula working fine now.
Example #3 – Using the Text to Column Method.
This is the third method of converting text to numbers. This is a bit lengthier process than the earlier two but it is always a good thing to have as many alternatives as possible.
Step 1: Select the data.
Step 2: Click on Data tab and Text to Columns option.
Step 3: This will open up the below dialogue box and make sure delimited is selected. Click on next button.
Step 4: Now make sure Tab box is checked and click on Next button.
Step 5: In the next window select the General option and select the destination cell and click on the Finish button.
Step 6: This would convert your text to numbers and SUM will work fine now.
Example #4 – Using the VALUE Function.
In addition, a formula can convert text to numbers in Excel. VALUE function will do the job for us. Follow below steps to learn how to do it.
Step 1: Apply the VALUE formula in the cell B1.
Step 2: Drag and drop the formula to remaining cells.
Step 3: Apply SUM formula in the cell B6 to check whether it has converted or not.
How do we know the numbers are in text format?
We can find the cells with text format by a little green symbol. As I have shown in the below image we can find whether the number is in text format or not.
Things to Remember about Convert Text to Numbers in Excel.
- If you find the green triangle button in the cell then there must be something wrong in the data.
- VALUE function can be useful in converting the text string that represents a number to a number.
- If there are spacing problems we nest the VALUE function with trim function, For example, =Trim(Value(A1))
- Text to Column is also useful in correcting dates, numbers, and time formats.
This has been a guide to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel. Here we discuss how to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel using 1) Error handler, 2) text to column, 2) paste special and 4) Value Function along with excel example and downloadable excel templates. You may also look at these useful functions in excel –