Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Using a Numeric Portion of a Cell in a Formula.

# Using a Numeric Portion of a Cell in a Formula

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 7, 2021)

Rita described a problem where she is provided information, in an Excel worksheet, that combines both numbers and alphabetic characters in a cell. In particular, a cell may contain "3.5 V", which means that 3.5 hours of vacation time was taken. (The character at the end of the cell could change, depending on the type of hours the entry represented.) Rita wondered if it was possible to still use the data in a formula in some way.

Yes, it is possible, and there are several ways to approach the issue. The easiest way (and cleanest) would be to simply move the alphabetic characters to their own column. Assuming that the entries will always consist of a number, followed by a space, followed by the characters, you can do the "splitting" this way:

1. Make sure there is a blank column to the right of the entries.
2. Select the entries.
3. Display the Data tab of the ribbon.
4. Click the Text to Columns tool, in the Data Tools group. Excel displays the first step of the Convert Text to Columns Wizard. (See Figure 1.)
5. Figure 1. The first step of the Convert Text to Columns Wizard.

6. The Delimited radio button should be selected. Click Next. Excel displays the second step of the wizard.
7. Make sure the Space check box is selected, then click Next. Excel displays the third step of the wizard.
8. Click Finish.

Word splits the entries into two columns, with the numbers in the leftmost column and the alphabetic characters in the right. You can then use any regular math functions on the numeric values that you desire.

If it is not feasible to separate the data into columns (perhaps your company doesn't allow such a division, or it may cause problems with those later using the worksheet), then you can approach the problem in a couple of other ways.

First, you could use the following formula on individual cells:

```=VALUE(LEFT(A3,LEN(A3)-2))
```

The LEFT function is used to strip off the two rightmost characters (the space and the letter) of whatever is in cell A3, and then the VALUE function converts the result to a number. You can then use this result as you would any other numeric value.

If you want to simply sum the column containing your entries, you could use an array formula. Enter the following in a cell:

```=SUM(VALUE(LEFT(A3:A21,LEN(A3:A21)-2)))
```

Make sure you actually enter the formula by pressing Shift+Ctrl+Enter. Because this is an array formula, the LEFT and VALUE functions are applied to each cell in the range A3:A21 individually, and then summed using the SUM function.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10229) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using a Numeric Portion of a Cell in a Formula.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Entering or Importing Times without Colons

Enter a time into a cell and you normally include a colon between the hours and minutes. If you want to skip that pesky ...

Discover More

Embedding Your Phone Number in a Document

One way you can designate your responsibility for a document is to add your phone number to it. There is no need to add ...

Discover More

Adding Phrases to the Grammar Checker

Word's grammar checker dutifully tries to mark all the questionable grammar in your sentences. If you are tired of a ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Shortcut for Viewing Formulas

If you need to switch between viewing formulas and viewing the results of those formulas, you'll love the keyboard ...

Discover More

Converting from Relative to Absolute

Addresses used in a formula can be either relative or absolute. If you need to switch between the two types of ...

Discover More

Teachers often grade on what is affectionately referred to as "the curve." The problem is, it can be a bit difficult to ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 9?

2021-08-12 11:01:14

J. Woolley

@Lance
If your scenario includes the condition that both cells contain a constant value (not a formula), then you can use the following method.

Right-click on Sheet1's tab and pick View Code, then put this VBA in that worksheet's code frame:
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
Const ThisCell = "\$A\$1", ThatCell = "\$C\$1", ThatSheet = "Sheet2"
Application.EnableEvents = False
Worksheets(ThatSheet).Range(ThatCell) = Target
Application.EnableEvents = True
End If
End Sub

Right-click on Sheet2's tab and pick View Code, then put this VBA in that worksheet's code frame:
Private Sub Worksheet_Change(ByVal Target As Range)
Const ThisCell = "\$C\$1", ThatCell = "\$A\$1", ThatSheet = "Sheet1"
Application.EnableEvents = False
Worksheets(ThatSheet).Range(ThatCell) = Target
Application.EnableEvents = True
End If
End Sub

Adjust ThisCell, ThatCell, and ThatSheet if necessary, but the cell address values must be absolute (like \$A\$1, not A1).

2021-08-12 04:29:53

Peter Atherton

Type = then point to the target cell and you get this: =Sheet2!C2; you could also reference a rane of cells e.g. =SUM(sheet2!C2:C20)

2021-08-11 22:21:53

Lance

Hello,
I love reading the weekly Excel Tips and have a question that I think is not possible but would like to pose this question to the experts. Is there a way to link a cell, say A1, in a worksheet, say Sheet1, with a cell, say C1, in a different worksheet, say Sheet2, in the same workbook so that no matter which cell you change the value in, the other will also change?

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.