How to Convert Text to Number in Excel for Non-Excel Wizards

Listen up, non-Excel wizards! I'm here to share my newfound knowledge on how to convert text to number in Excel. I know, I know, it sounds dreadfully boring. But trust me, this newfound knowledge has saved my productivity on multiple occasions.

First of all, you might be wondering why you would ever need to convert text to number in Excel. I mean, isn't it all just numbers and formulas anyways? Unfortunately, Excel can get a little quirky when it comes to formatting.

Let's say you have a bunch of data in a spreadsheet, and some of the values are formatted as text, even though they're supposed to be numbers. When you try to use the SUM function or any other formula, Excel won't recognize those text values as numbers, and your formula will result in an error.

So, what do you do? Well, you could manually re-enter each of those values as numbers, but that is a lot of work. Luckily, there's a quick and easy way to convert text to number in Excel.

The Simplest Method to Convert Text to Number in Excel

So, here's the easiest and quickest solution to the problem. Select the range of cells that contain the values you want to convert, then right-click on one of the selected cells and choose "Format Cells" from the context menu.

Next, select "Number" from the list of categories on the left-hand side of the window and choose the type of number format that matches the format in which your numbers are entered. For example, if your numbers are entered as dollar amounts, choose "Currency" from the list.

Once you've done that, click "OK" to close the Format Cells window, and voila! Your text values are now converted to numbers, and formulas like SUM will work correctly.

When You Need to Get Your Hands Dirty: Converting Text to Number Using a Formula

Now, there may be times when the simple method doesn't work. Maybe your data is in a weird format, or the values are mixed with some characters that need to be removed before the values can be converted. In that case, we can use a formula to convert text to number.

Here's the formula:

``` =VALUE(A1) ```

Replace A1 with the cell reference that contains the text value you want to convert. So, if your text value is in cell B2, the formula would be:

``` =VALUE(B2) ```

When you hit enter, the formula will return the numerical equivalent of the text value.

When Text to Number Conversion Goes Wrong

Occasionally, Excel will throw a curveball at us, and even the formula solution won't work. Most commonly, Excel will return a #VALUE! error, which means it can't convert the text to a number.

If this happens, the first thing you should check is whether the text value contains characters that aren't numeric, like spaces or special characters. If that's the case, you'll need to remove those characters before trying to convert the text to a number.

You can do this using a combination of the TRIM function (which removes leading and trailing spaces) and the SUBSTITUTE function (which removes specific characters). Here's an example:

``` =VALUE(SUBSTITUTE(TRIM(A1),",","")) ```

This formula will remove any commas from the text value, as well as any leading or trailing spaces, before converting the remaining characters to a number.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, folks, the simplest and easiest ways to convert text to number in Excel. Hopefully, this newfound knowledge will prevent you from tearing out your hair the next time Excel gives you an error message.

Remember, don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and use formulas if the simple method doesn't work. And if all else fails, take a deep breath, go for a walk, and remember that there's an entire community of Excel users out there who have been in your shoes.

Until next time, happy Excel-ling!

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