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How to Convert Text to Numbers in Excel

You may encounter situations in Microsoft Excel where numbers are automatically converted to text, causing issues when performing mathematical operations. This can happen due to various reasons, such as cell formatting, presence of non-numeric characters, or specific entry formats. Fortunately, you can use the TEXT function in Excel to convert text to numbers with a specific format.

Causes of Numbers Being Converted to Text:

1. Cell Formatting: Check if the cells are formatted as text. Formatted as text, numbers are left-aligned; as numbers, they are right-aligned.
2. Non-Numeric Characters: Numbers may be converted to text if the cell contains non-numeric characters, like symbols or letters.
3. Entry Format: The way numbers are entered, such as using commas, periods, or spaces, can lead to text conversion.

Using the TEXT Function to Convert Text to Numbers:

To convert text to numbers in Excel, you can employ the TEXT function. This function takes two arguments: the value to be converted and the desired format. The format can be any valid Excel number format.

Example:

=TEXT(A1, "#,##0")

In this formula, A1 is the cell containing the text to be converted, and #,##0 is the format to remove non-numeric characters.

When to Use the TEXT Function:

• Specific Format Needed: Use the TEXT function when you need to convert a number to text with a particular format.
• Cell Comparison: If you need to compare a number with another value stored as text, you may use the TEXT function.

Automatic Conversion of Text to Numbers:

To automatically convert multiple cells from text to numbers:

1. Select Cells: Choose the cells you want to convert.
2. Home Tab: Go to the Home tab on the ribbon.
3. Number Format: Click the Number Format drop-down menu.
4. Select General: Choose the General option to automatically convert the selected cells to numbers.

Keep in mind that this method works only if the cells contain actual numbers. If there are non-numeric characters, they won't be converted.

Convert Numbers to Text using TEXT Function:

If you need to convert numbers to text, use the TEXT function with the desired format.

Example:

=TEXT(A1, "#,##0.00")

In this formula, A1 is the cell containing the number, and #,##0.00 is the currency format with two decimal places.

When to Use the TEXT Function for Number-to-Text Conversion:

• Specific Text Format Required: Use the TEXT function when you need to convert a number to text with a specific format.
• Text Cell Insertion: If you want to insert a number into a cell formatted as text, the TEXT function can be helpful.

Remember that using the TEXT function converts the number to text, making it no longer recognized as a number by Excel. If you need to perform mathematical operations, keep the original format as a number.