Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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.

Working in Feet and Inches

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 24, 2015)


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.)

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."

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10612) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Working In Feet and Inches.

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. ...


Formatting for Hundredths of Seconds

When you display a time in a cell, Excel normally displays just the hours, minutes, and seconds. If you want to display the ...

Discover More

Calculating an Expanding Square

When doing a systematic search for rescue purposes, it isn't unusual to implement what is termed an "expanding square." This ...

Discover More

The Changing Relationship of WordArt and Text Boxes

Two of the long-time features in Word are text boxes and WordArt. You might not think these two are related, but they are ...

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)

Disabling the F1 Key

Tired of hitting the F1 key by mistake and pulling up the Help system? Here are a couple of ways (one drastic and one not so ...

Discover More

Differences between Tables and Named Ranges

Excel allows you to define the data in a worksheet as a table. Doing so can provide some clear benefits over simply accessing ...

Discover More

Maintaining the Active Cell

Move from one worksheet to another, and Excel selects whatever cell was last used in the worksheet you are selecting. If you ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 8Mpixels. 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 7 - 0?

2016-02-05 14:21:48



=ROUNDDOWN(DOLLARFR(C14/12,12),0)&"ft "&ROUND(MOD(DOLLARFR(C14/12,12),1),2)*100&"in"

2016-02-05 14:20:14


@Michael (Micky) Avidan here is an example of using DOLLARFR to turn inches into feet and inches:

=ROUNDUP(DOLLARFR(C14/12,12),0)&"ft "&ROUND(MOD(DOLLARFR(C14/12,12),1),2)*100&"in"

Where C14 contains the value you are looking to convert

2015-01-28 05:44:39

Michael (Micky) Avidan

I do hope that no Canadian driver still uses the "imperial" (left) side of the road. :)
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

2015-01-27 18:53:16



I live in Canada. We use metric as well. But there are still many projects using imperial measurements, and our building code references both systems of measurements.

2015-01-27 05:27:10

Willy Vanhaelen

Whow, am I happy I live in a country where only metric measurements are used :-)

2015-01-26 17:55:08


I use FEET-INCH measurements everyday at my job. I have to convert field measurements to material cut lists daily. To help me with this I created 2 functions to do the calculations and conversions.

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

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
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

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

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
EndValue = Round((FeetValue * 12 + InchValue + Numerator / Denominator) * Rounding, 0) / Rounding
End If
If Negative Then
EndValue = EndValue * -1
End If

Inch = EndValue
End Function

If any of you streamline code, let me know please. Thanks.

2015-01-26 09:34:05

Glenn Case



will produce 5.06, that's likely what MarcelBeug was referring to.

Like Erik, I had never heard of these functions, but this is an interesting use of them.

2015-01-25 07:12:06

Michael (Micky) Avidan

I looked at your ALTERNATIVE suggestion but with all due respect I could not understand how it could be for any help in converting 66 Inches into Feet and Inches - which, to the best of my understanding, was the main goal of this tip.
I hope you understand that my comment comes, mainly, due to the use of the word: ALTERNATIVELY.
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)

2015-01-24 11:12:15


MarcelBeug, thanks for the tip! I never realized these two functions existed, but no doubt will be using them in the future.

2015-01-24 05:56:56


Alternatively, you can use the DOLLARFR and DOLLARDE functions, e.g. DOLLARFR(5.5, 12) would result in 5.06, in this case to be read as 5 feet, 6 inches.
DOLLARDE works the other way around, so DOLLARDE(5.06, 12) results in 5.5.

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.

Newest Tips

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

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.