How to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel for Office 365: A Step-by-Step Guide

Converting text to numbers in Excel for Office 365 is a common task for those who work with data. It’s a simple process that involves using the ‘Convert to Number’ option, which can be found by selecting the cells with the text you want to convert and clicking on the exclamation mark that appears. After completing this action, the text in the selected cells will be converted to numbers, allowing for numerical operations and analysis.

After you convert text to numbers in Excel, you will be able to perform calculations, sort, and filter the data numerically. This is especially useful when dealing with financial data, statistical data, or any other type of data that requires numeric manipulation.


Have you ever been frustrated when trying to sum up a column of numbers in Excel, only to realize that some of the cells contain text and not numbers? This can be a real headache, especially if you’re working with large datasets. But fear not, converting text to numbers in Excel for Office 365 is a breeze once you know how. This task is crucial for data analysts, accountants, and anyone who regularly works with numerical data in Excel. It ensures that your data is accurate and formatted correctly for analysis, making your work more efficient and reliable.

The importance of converting text to numbers in Excel cannot be understated. Excel is a powerful tool for managing and analyzing data, but it requires that data to be in the right format. Numbers stored as text can cause errors in formulas and functions, leading to incorrect results and potentially flawed decision-making. By converting text to numbers, you’re safeguarding the integrity of your data and ensuring that your analyses are based on accurate information. This skill is relevant not only to those who work in data-intensive fields but also to students and professionals who use Excel for everyday tasks.

Step by Step Tutorial to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel for Office 365

The following steps will guide you through the process of converting text to numbers in Excel. This transformation is essential for accurate data analysis and manipulation.

Step 1: Select the Cells with Text

Click and drag your mouse over the cells that contain the text you want to convert to numbers.

Selecting the cells is the first step towards converting your data. Make sure that you only select the cells with text that can be converted into numbers. Text that represents numerical values, like ‘123’, will be converted, while text that doesn’t represent a number, such as ‘ABC’, won’t be changed.

Step 2: Click on the Exclamation Mark

Click on the exclamation mark (!) that appears next to the selected cells.

After selecting the cells, an exclamation mark icon will appear. This icon indicates that Excel has detected something that may be incorrect or require your attention. In this case, it’s the text that should be numbers.

Step 3: Choose ‘Convert to Number’

In the menu that appears, select ‘Convert to Number’.

By selecting ‘Convert to Number’, Excel will attempt to change the format of the text in the selected cells to numbers. This is where the magic happens, and your text is transformed into usable numerical data.


AccuracyConverting text to numbers in Excel ensures that calculations are accurate and reliable.
EfficiencyIt saves time and effort by allowing the use of Excel’s built-in functions and formulas on the data.
VersatilityThis conversion makes it possible to use numerical data in a variety of analyses and visualizations.


LimitationNot all text can be converted to numbers, such as text that doesn’t represent a numerical value.
Manual ReviewSometimes, you may need to review the data manually to ensure that the conversion is correct.
Data LossIf not done carefully, there is a risk of losing data during the conversion process.

Additional Information

When converting text to numbers in Excel for Office 365, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the ‘Convert to Number’ option will only work with text that is actually a number in disguise. For example, if your cell contains the text ‘123’, Excel can convert this to the number 123. However, if your cell contains the word ‘One’, Excel will not be able to convert this as it is not a number.

Another tip is to ensure that your cells are not formatted to ‘Text’ before attempting to convert them. If they are, you’ll need to change the cell format to ‘General’ or ‘Number’ to allow the conversion to take place.

Additionally, if you have a large dataset with multiple instances of text that need to be converted to numbers, using the ‘Find & Select’ tool with the ‘Replace’ option can be a time-saver. You can find all instances of the text that needs converting and replace them with the correct number format in one go.

Lastly, remember that Excel for Office 365 is constantly updating, and features may change or improve over time. Keep an eye out for updates that can make this process even smoother.


  1. Select the cells with text.
  2. Click on the exclamation mark that appears.
  3. Choose ‘Convert to Number’ from the menu.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if the ‘Convert to Number’ option doesn’t appear?

If the ‘Convert to Number’ option doesn’t appear, make sure that the cells are not formatted as ‘Text’. If they are, change the format to ‘General’ or ‘Number’ and try again.

Can I convert multiple cells at once?

Yes, you can select multiple cells and convert all the text to numbers in one go.

What happens if the text cannot be converted to a number?

If the text cannot be converted to a number, it will remain unchanged in the cell.

Can this process be reversed?

Yes, you can reverse the process by changing the cell format back to ‘Text’ or by using the ‘Undo’ command.

Will this process affect formulas or functions in my Excel sheet?

Converting text to numbers should not affect formulas or functions unless the text was part of a formula or function. In that case, you may need to adjust the formula or function accordingly.


Converting text to numbers in Excel for Office 365 is a fundamental skill that can make your life much easier when working with data. It’s a simple process that can have a big impact on the accuracy and efficiency of your data analysis tasks. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should now be able to convert text to numbers with confidence.

Whether you’re a seasoned Excel user or just starting out, mastering this task will help you get the most out of your data and Excel’s powerful features. So go ahead, give it a try, and watch as your text magically transforms into numbers!

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