ARABIC function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the ARABIC function in Microsoft Excel.


Converts a Roman numeral to an Arabic numeral.


ARABIC( text )

The ARABIC function syntax has the following arguments.

  • Text    Required. A string enclosed in quotation marks, an empty string (""), or a reference to a cell containing text.


  • If Text is not a valid value, ARABIC returns the #VALUE! error value.

  • Values that return a #VALUE! error value include numbers, dates, and text that is not a valid Roman numeral.

  • If an empty string ("") is used as an input value, 0 is returned.

  • The maximum length of the argument is 255 characters. Therefore, the largest number that can be returned is 255,000.

  • The case of the text argument is ignored. For example, "mxmvii" evaluates to the same result (1997) as "MXMVII."

  • Although a negative Roman number is non-standard, evaluation of a negative Roman numeral is supported. Insert the negative sign before the Roman text, such as "-MMXI."

  • Leading and trailing spaces are ignored.

  • The ARABIC function performs the opposite action of the ROMAN function. See ROMAN function for more information.


  1. Use the ARABIC function to convert a value.

    Open a new Excel workbook and type this formula into cell A1.


    Press Enter and Excel converts the Roman numeral LVII to the Arabic equivalent, 57.

  2. Use a cell reference in the function to convert values from other cells.

    Type this formula into cell A2.


    Now enter a Roman numeral into cell B1.


    Excel converts the value in cell B1 and displays the Arabic equivalent, 1912.

Top of Page

Need more help?

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Got It
Get instant Excel help
Connect to an expert now
Subject to Got It terms and conditions

Was this information helpful?