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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.

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