**Please Note: **
This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Working In Feet and Inches.

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated January 2, 2024)**This tip applies to** Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365

If you work in one of the construction trades, you may wonder if there is a way to have Excel work in feet and inches. The answer, of course, is yes and no. (How's that for specific?)

Let's look at the "no" answer first. If you are looking for a way to make Excel do things like math using feet and inches, there is no native ability to do that. In other words, you can't tell Excel to consider a column as "feet and inches" and then have it automatically add a set of cells containing lineal feet. A quick search of the Internet reveals that there are a number of Excel add-ins that you can find—some for free—that will do real math for feet and inches. These, of course, would require learning exactly how to use them to achieve what you want. The following site was among those suggested by different *ExcelTips* subscribers. (Even though the information on the page is older, it is still applicable to current versions of Excel.)

http://lacher.com/examples/lacher18.htm

Now for the "yes" portion of the answer. You can, of course, use separate columns for feet and inches. In this way it is relatively easy to add the values in the columns—one would simply be the sum of feet, and the other the sum of inches. Since the sum of the inches would most likely exceed 12, you could, in a different cell, adjust the finished feet and inches as necessary.

Another approach is to simply work in inches, which is the lowest common denominator. For instance, if you had a length of 5 feet 6 inches, you would put the value 66 in a cell. You could then do any number of math functions on these values. In another cell you could use a formula, such as the following, to display an inches-only value as feet and inches:

=INT(A1/12) & " ft. " & MOD(A1,12) & " in."

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This tip (10612) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: **Working In Feet and Inches**.

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2024-01-07 16:51:15

Tomek

Similarly you could have a format like F'II #/#" for feet inches and fractions

and {I} #/# for inches and fractions.

For now best you can do is what @Michael Armstrong suggested: do all your calculations in inches and fractions, and convert the results to feet inches and fractions when needed. And see my previous comment about entering inches and fractions easily.

To expand on that last thought, if you stick to just halfs, quarters, eighths, sixteenths, etc. all results of addition subtraction and multiplication by a number will have only these fractions. And with proper format they will be rounded to the smallest possible denominator, hence you will not see something like 5 8/16 but 5 1/2. A good format for this is "# #/??" for up to two digits in the denominator, or "# #/???" for up to three-digits denominator.

2024-01-05 18:59:57

Tomek

That may work well for inches and fractions. but for feet and inches, entering "5 4/12" will be displayed as "5 1/3". it may be not what you wanted. You can manually set fractions to always display as twelfths using format"# #/12" for inches and feet.

For feet, inches, and fractions, Excel doesn't have any built-in math. But such arithmetic exists in many CAD programs, so may be it could be implemented in Excel as well.

2024-01-05 18:43:59

Tomek

Metric conversion would be great, but won't happen soon.

I live in Canada (a metric country), and I came from Poland (another metric country). In Canada feet and inches are fully alive, but so are pounds (most grocery prices are given per pound, except on the receipt at the register, where they are per kg; that keeps your arithmetic skills alive).

I got used to some of those, but to make things more varied we use degrees Celsius for weather, but Fahrenheit for cooking. And don't start me on the date formats.

Even in Poland quite a few years ago I was buying some particle boards. They were 1219 mm x 2438 mm! I wondered why. Guess what, that is 4ft x 8 ft.

2024-01-02 11:32:01

J-M J

What about the "Metric Conversion Act" of 1975? Definitively buried under feet and inches of habits?

2023-09-22 13:48:58

Hambone

As inconvenient as it is to have to account for that, a better formula would be:

=IF(A1>=0, FLOOR.MATH(A1/12), CEILING.MATH(A1/12)) & "'" & IF(A1>=0, MOD(A1, 12), MOD(-A1, 12)) & """"

This handles positive and negative values correctly.

2019-11-05 06:52:13

MalR

I enjoy reading your comments Willy. You always speak a lot of sense and simplify the problem!

2019-11-05 05:22:15

Willy Vanhaelen

2019-11-04 23:49:18

Aldo Santolla

Public Function FeetInch(Inch As Double, Optional Denominator As Integer = 16) As String

Dim Negative As Boolean

Dim FeetValue As Long

Dim InchValue As Long

Dim FractionValue As Double

Dim FractionReductionCount As Integer

Dim Numerator As Integer

Dim F As String, i As String, Fr As String

Application.Volatile

Negative = (Inch < 0)

If Negative Then Inch = Inch * -1

FeetValue = Int(Inch / 12)

InchValue = Int(Inch - FeetValue * 12)

FractionValue = Round((Inch - FeetValue * 12 - InchValue) * Denominator, 0) / Denominator

If FractionValue = 1 Then

FractionValue = 0

InchValue = InchValue + 1

End If

FractionReductionCount = 0

Numerator = FractionValue * Denominator

If FractionValue <> 0 Then

Do Until Int(Numerator / 2) <> Numerator / 2

Numerator = Numerator / 2

FractionReductionCount = FractionReductionCount + 1

Loop

End If

F = FeetValue & "'-"

If FeetValue = 0 Then F = ""

Fr = Numerator & "/" & Denominator / 2 ^ FractionReductionCount & """"

If FractionValue = 0 Then Fr = """"

i = InchValue & " "

If InchValue = 0 And FeetValue = 0 Then i = ""

If FractionValue = 0 Then i = Trim(InchValue)

FeetInch = IIf(Negative, "-", "") & F & i & Fr

End Function

This will convert feet & inch format 0'-0 0/0" to a number you can use in calculations.

Public Function Inch(ByVal FeetInch As String, Optional Rounding As Integer = 0) As Double

Dim Negative As Boolean

Dim Apos As Long 'Apostrophe

Dim Hpos As Long 'Hyphen

Dim Spos As Long 'Space

Dim Dpos As Long 'Divider

Dim Qpos As Long 'Quotation

Dim EndValue As Double

Dim FeetValue As Double

Dim InchValue As Double

Dim Numerator As Double

Dim Denominator As Double

Application.Volatile

If Left(FeetInch, 1) = "*" Then

FeetInch = [AddLongLength] & Right(FeetInch, Len(FeetInch) - 1)

End If

FeetValue = 0

InchValue = 0

Numerator = 0

Denominator = 1

If Left(FeetInch, 1) = "-" Then

Negative = (Left(FeetInch, 1) = "-")

FeetInch = Right(FeetInch, Len(FeetInch) - 1)

End If

Qpos = InStr(FeetInch, """") 'Quotation

If Qpos > 0 Then FeetInch = Left(FeetInch, Qpos - 1)

Dpos = InStr(FeetInch, "/") 'Divider

Spos = InStr(FeetInch, " ") 'Space

Hpos = InStr(FeetInch, "-") 'Hyphen

Apos = InStr(FeetInch, "'") 'Apostrophe

If Dpos > 0 Then 'Divider indicates fraction in string

Select Case True

Case Spos > 0 'Space

Numerator = CDbl(Mid(FeetInch, Spos + 1, Dpos - Spos - 1))

Denominator = CDbl(Mid(FeetInch, Dpos + 1))

FeetInch = Left(FeetInch, Spos - 1)

Case Hpos > 0 'Hyphen

Numerator = CDbl(Mid(FeetInch, Hpos + 1, Dpos - Hpos - 1))

Denominator = CDbl(Mid(FeetInch, Dpos + 1))

FeetInch = Left(FeetInch, Hpos - 1)

Case Apos > 0 'Apostrophe

Numerator = CDbl(Mid(FeetInch, Apos + 1, Dpos - Apos - 1))

Denominator = CDbl(Mid(FeetInch, Dpos + 1))

Case Else 'Fraction Only

Numerator = CDbl(Left(FeetInch, Dpos - 1))

Denominator = CDbl(Right(FeetInch, Len(FeetInch) - Dpos))

FeetInch = ""

End Select

End If

Hpos = InStr(FeetInch, "-") 'Hyphen

If Hpos > 0 Then

If Len(FeetInch) > Hpos Then

InchValue = CDbl(Right(FeetInch, Len(FeetInch) - Hpos))

FeetInch = Left(FeetInch, Hpos - 1)

End If

End If

Apos = InStr(FeetInch, "'") 'Apostrophe

If Apos > 0 Then

FeetValue = CDbl(Left(FeetInch, Apos - 1))

FeetInch = Right(FeetInch, Len(FeetInch) - Apos)

End If

If Len(FeetInch) > 0 Then InchValue = InchValue + CDbl(FeetInch)

If Rounding = 0 Then

EndValue = FeetValue * 12 + InchValue + Numerator / Denominator

Else

EndValue = Round((FeetValue * 12 + InchValue + Numerator / Denominator) * Rounding, 0) / Rounding

End If

If Negative Then

EndValue = EndValue * -1

End If

Inch = EndValue

End Function

I use these everyday in my work. I get field measurements from constructions site that I need to convert and use in various calculations.

2019-11-04 23:45:56

Aldo Santolla

Public Function FeetInch(Inch As Double, Optional Denominator As Integer = 16) As String

Dim Negative As Boolean

Dim FeetValue As Long

Dim InchValue As Long

Dim FractionValue As Double

Dim FractionReductionCount As Integer

Dim Numerator As Integer

Dim F As String, i As String, Fr As String

Application.Volatile

Negative = (Inch < 0)

If Negative Then Inch = Inch * -1

FeetValue = Int(Inch / 12)

InchValue = Int(Inch - FeetValue * 12)

FractionValue = Round((Inch - FeetValue * 12 - InchValue) * Denominator, 0) / Denominator

If FractionValue = 1 Then

FractionValue = 0

InchValue = InchValue + 1

End If

FractionReductionCount = 0

Numerator = FractionValue * Denominator

If FractionValue <> 0 Then

Do Until Int(Numerator / 2) <> Numerator / 2

Numerator = Numerator / 2

FractionReductionCount = FractionReductionCount + 1

Loop

End If

F = FeetValue & "'-"

If FeetValue = 0 Then F = ""

Fr = Numerator & "/" & Denominator / 2 ^ FractionReductionCount & """"

If FractionValue = 0 Then Fr = """"

i = InchValue & " "

If InchValue = 0 And FeetValue = 0 Then i = ""

If FractionValue = 0 Then i = Trim(InchValue)

FeetInch = IIf(Negative, "-", "") & F & i & Fr

End Function

2019-11-04 09:45:34

Craig Bower

2019-11-03 15:56:24

MIchael Armstrong

2019-11-03 08:12:55

2019-11-02 07:31:10

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