While working with Excel, we are able to convert any text into a numeric value by using the VALUE function. This step by step tutorial will assist all levels of Excel users in the usage and syntax of the VALUE function.
Figure 1. Final result: Excel VALUE function
Syntax of the VALUE Function
- text – a text that we want to convert to a numeric value; text can either be enclosed in quotation marks or a cell reference
- text can be in time or date format, or a constant number; if text is in a format other than these three, VALUE function returns the error value “#VALUE!”
Setting up the Data
Our table consists of two columns: Text (column B) and Result (column C). Column B contains a list of texts we want to convert into numeric values. The results will be recorded in column C.
Figure 2. Sample data to convert to numeric values
Convert text into numeric value
In order to convert the text in column B into numeric values, we will follow these steps:
Step 1. Select cell C3
Step 2. Enter the formula:
Step 3. Press Enter
Step 4: Copy the formula in cell C3 to cells C4:C7 by clicking the “+” icon at the bottom-right corner of cell C3 and dragging it down
Figure 3. Entering the formula to convert to numeric values
The result in cell C3 is the numeric value of “6:00” which is 0.25. Excel has a unique way of converting time into numbers, relative to a 24-hour period in one day. Cells C4 to C7 show the corresponding numeric values of the text in B4:B6, whether the text is a constant number, in date format or in time format.
In cell C7, our formula returns a #VALUE! Error, because the text we want to convert, “12th Street”, has no equivalent numeric value.
The VALUE function is generally not used because Excel normally converts text into a numeric value without using any function. This function is available in Excel for compatibility with other spreadsheet programs.
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