Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Converting Strings to Numbers.

# Converting Strings to Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 18, 2017)

There are many times when writing macros that you need to convert strings to numbers. You can do this with the Val() function. This function returns the value of a string, up to the first nonnumeric character. The following are examples:

```A = Val(MyString)
B = Val("-12345.67")
C = Val("9876")
D = Val("   4     5  2      1")
```

The first line converts MyString into a value, placing it in A. The second line results in B being set to —12345.67. The third places the value 9876 into C, and the final line sets D equal to 4521. Notice that spaces are ignored in the conversion; this is why the final line works the way it does. You should also note that trying to use formatted numbers in a conversion will confuse the Val() function. Thus, Val("1,234") would not return a value of 1234 (as one might hope), but a value of 1. The conversion stops at the first nonnumeric character, in this case the comma.

Note:

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ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12476) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Converting Strings to Numbers.

##### 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. ...

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What is five more than 4?

2017-11-20 01:06:17

william driskell

I thought this tip was going to be along the lines of when you import data and the values arrive as text. The operations above are doable but I usually drop a numeric "1" into a blank cell, copy it and paste special-multiply the text values. This is an old trick but Excel now flags anomalous looking number values that are actually text and gives you that adjoining drop-down box to convert text to numbers. Even if the data column contains some text and some numeric values, the Excel-provided conversion still works.

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