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: Converting Strings to Numbers.

Converting Strings to Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 18, 2016)

2

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.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12476) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 7 + 6?

2016-03-18 12:52:21

Snoopy

You should try the add-in InchCalc. I use it all the time when importing AutoCAD tables. They contain dimensions with foot and inch symbols and excel treats them as text. InchCalc can convert those "strings" to inches and back.

http://www.josh.com/InchCalc/index.htm


2013-02-19 00:56:35

bdriskell

From the title, I thought this tip was going to refer to converting those insidious imports where a number arrives as a text string rather than a numeric value (usually from a poor database definition) and you can't figure out why your calculations have crashed. For these, I multiply everything in the column by the value 1 to force the alphabetic numbers into numeric format. Simply enter the value 1 into a cell and then Copy and apply it to the text numbers with a Paste Special Multiply. Voila!


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