How to Convert Text to Number in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Converting text to numbers in Excel can be a real lifesaver, especially when dealing with imported data or mismatched formats. To convert text to number, you need to utilize Excel’s built-in functions and tools. This process involves a few simple steps that you can easily follow to ensure your data is correctly formatted and ready for calculations.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Convert Text to Number in Excel

This section will guide you through the exact steps needed to convert text to numbers in Excel. By the end of this, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to tackle this task efficiently.

Step 1: Select the Cells

Select the cells that contain the text you want to convert.

To start, click and drag your mouse over the range of cells that need converting. If the cells are scattered, you can hold down the Ctrl key while clicking each cell individually.

Step 2: Use the Error Button

Look for the small green triangle in the top-left corner of each cell, then click the error button that appears.

This little green triangle indicates that Excel thinks something might be wrong with the cell. Clicking the error button gives you access to a menu that can help fix the error.

Step 3: Choose ‘Convert to Number’

Click "Convert to Number" from the dropdown menu that appears.

Excel will immediately attempt to convert the text to numbers. This is often the quickest and easiest way to fix text-based numeric values.

Step 4: Use the VALUE Function

If the error button isn’t available, enter =VALUE(A1) in a new cell, where A1 is the cell with text.

The VALUE function converts the text to a number. Make sure to replace A1 with the cell reference of your text cell.

Step 5: Apply the Format Cells Option

Right-click the selected cells, choose "Format Cells," then select "Number" from the list of categories.

This step ensures that the cells are formatted as numbers, which is crucial for performing any mathematical operations.

After completing these steps, your text should be successfully converted to numbers, making your data more manageable and ready for any calculations you need to perform.

Tips for Converting Text to Number in Excel

  • Use the Text to Columns feature if you have a large dataset. It can split text into separate columns and convert them into numbers.
  • If your data has leading spaces, use the TRIM function before converting.
  • Be aware of different regional settings, especially if your data contains commas and periods for thousand and decimal separators.
  • Always double-check your data after conversion to ensure accuracy.
  • Use Conditional Formatting to highlight any cells that might still contain text.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I convert text to number without changing the format?

Use the VALUE function or the Text to Columns feature. Both methods convert text to numbers while preserving the original format.

Can I convert text with leading zeros to numbers?

Yes, but Excel will remove leading zeros. You can keep them by setting the cell format to Text.

How do I check if a cell is text or a number?

Use the ISTEXT or ISNUMBER functions. These functions return TRUE or FALSE based on the cell content.

Why is Excel not converting my text to numbers?

Ensure there are no hidden characters or spaces. Use the TRIM and CLEAN functions to remove any unwanted characters.

Can I automate the conversion process?

Yes, you can use Excel VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) to automate the conversion of text to numbers.


  1. Select the cells.
  2. Use the error button.
  3. Choose ‘Convert to Number’.
  4. Use the VALUE function.
  5. Apply the Format Cells option.


Converting text to numbers in Excel is a straightforward process once you get the hang of it. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure your data is correctly formatted and ready for any calculations or analyses you need to perform. Don’t forget to utilize the tips provided to make the process even smoother.

For further reading, consider exploring Excel’s extensive help documentation or online forums where you can find additional tricks and solutions to common issues. Now that you know how to convert text to number in Excel, you’re better equipped to handle data with confidence and precision. Happy Excel-ing!

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