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)

1

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:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Removing Add-ins

Add-ins are used to extend Excel's capabilities in lots of different ways. If you want to get rid of an add-in ...

Discover More

Repeating Cell Contents

Want to repeat cell contents over and over again within a single cell? Excel provides two ways you can duplicate the content.

Discover More

Rounding Numbers

The primary method of rounding values is to use the ROUND function in your formulas. Here's an introduction to this ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Determining if Calculation is Necessary

When processing a worksheet with a macro, it may be helpful to periodically recalculate the worksheet. Wouldn't it be ...

Discover More

Reversing Names In Place

Do you want a way to reverse names within a cell, making them "last, first" instead of "first last?" Here's a handy macro ...

Discover More

Selecting the First Cell In a Row

When creating macros, you'll often have a need to select different cells in the worksheet. Here's how to select the first ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 9 + 2?

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.


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
Subscribe

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.