Article ID: 181298 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q181298
For a Microsoft Excel 2002 version of this article, see 291047
When you import a file that was created in another program (such as dBASE or Lotus 1-2-3) or that was downloaded from a mainframe, Microsoft Excel may recognize some numbers as text.
This causes functions such as SUM and AVERAGE to ignore the values in these cells. These text strings may contain actual text in addition to the numbers you want to convert. This article describes methods for converting cells that contain text to numbers.
To convert text to numbers in a worksheet, use any of the following methods.
NOTE: Each of these methods assumes you have already changed any cell number formatting in the cells to General. To do this, follow these steps:
Method 1: Retype the Values in the CellsOn the Format menu, click Cells, and click the Number tab to change the number format of the cells. Then, retype the numbers.
Method 2: Select "Edit Directly in Cell"To use this method, follow these steps:
Method 3: Use Paste Special with MultiplyTo use this method, follow these steps:
Method 4: Remove Hidden Characters and SpacesThis method works best if the data is arranged in a single column or row. This technique uses the TRIM function and the CLEAN function to remove extra spaces and nonprinting characters that may be imported with the file. The following example assumes that the data is in column A and starts in row 1 ($A$1). To use this example, follow these steps:
Method 5: Use a Visual Basic for Applications ProcedureMicrosoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements. Create a Visual Basic for Applications macro to reenter the numbers in the selected cell or range of cells. To do this, follow these steps:
Method 6: Use Text to ColumnsThis method works best if the data is arranged in a single column. The following example assumes that the data is in column A and starts in row 1 ($A$1). To use this example, follow these steps:
For more information about cell formatting, click Microsoft Excel Help on the Help menu, type format cells quickly in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.
Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.