DOLLAR Formula


The DOLLAR formula in Excel, known as an advanced excel function for data analysis, is incredibly handy when dealing with financial data. This formula essentially converts numeric values into a text representation with a specified currency format. It’s one of the most useful excel formulas, particularly for financial and accounting professionals.


The primary purpose of the DOLLAR formula is to simplify and streamline currency formatting within your spreadsheet calculator. By using this formula, you can quickly and effortlessly display numbers in a dollar format, hence the name. This makes it an invaluable tool in your Excel arsenal, particularly for creating formulas in Excel relating to financial data.


The syntax for this formula is straightforward:

DOLLAR(number, [decimals])


There are two parameters for The DOLLAR formula:

  1. Number: This is the number value which you want to convert into the dollar format.
  2. Decimals (Optional): This is the number of decimal places to display in the result. You can leave it blank so that Excel will automatically use two decimal places.


The DOLLAR formula returns a text representation of the number in dollar format. It’s vital to remember that the formula returns a text value, not a numeric value.

Usage notes

To understand this, excel formula better, we need to realize that the DOLLAR formula doesn’t affect the actual number – it merely changes the way we view it within the spreadsheet. So, the original data in your Excel calculator remains unchanged.


DOLLAR formula is available in all Excel versions.

Example #1

Below is a simple example:


In this case, the formula will return $500.00.

Example #2

Here’s an example using both parameters:

=DOLLAR(500.4567, 2)

Here, the formula returns $500.46, because we’ve specified 2 decimal places.

Example #3

The formula can handle negative numbers as well:


This will output -$500.00.

Example #4

If the decimal places aren’t specified and the number has more than two decimals, the formula rounds to two decimals:


The output is $123.46.

Example #5

You can also use cell references with the DOLLAR formula:


If cell A2 has a value of 200, the formula will return $200.00.

Tips and Tricks

If you use a negative value for the ‘decimals’ argument, the DOLLAR formula rounds the number to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, and so on. For example, =DOLLAR(123.4567, -1) will return $120.00.


Remember, the DOLLAR formula returns a text string, not a number. This means that you can’t use the output of the DOLLAR formula in numerical calculations.

Common errors and solutions

Sometimes, users will try to use the output of the DOLLAR formula in a numerical calculation and receive a #VALUE! error. This happens because the output is text, not a number. The solution is to perform any necessary calculations first and then use the DOLLAR formula to format the output.

Best Practices

Always perform any necessary numerical calculations before using this formula. This ensures that your calculations won’t be affected by the text output of this formula.

List of Related functions

There are several other useful Excel formulas for data analysis, such as:

  • ROUND: Rounds a number to a specified number of digits.
  • FIXED: Formats a number as text with a fixed number of decimals.

Frequently Used with the formulas

The DOLLAR formula is often used with:

  • SUM: Adds all numbers in a range of cells.
  • AVERAGE: Returns the average of the numbers in a range of cells.
  • MAX and MIN: Returns the maximum and minimum number in a range, respectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can the DOLLAR formula be used for currencies other than dollars?

Yes, but it will still show the ‘$’ sign. If you need to display a different currency symbol, you’ll need to use custom formatting in Excel.

Q. What happens if I use a negative number for the ‘decimals’ parameter in the DOLLAR formula?

A negative ‘decimals’ value will round the number to the nearest 10, 100, 1000, etc. For example, =DOLLAR(123.4567, -1) will return $120.00.

Q. Can I use the output of the DOLLAR formula in numerical calculations?

No, the DOLLAR formula returns a text string, not a number. Therefore, you can’t use its output in numerical calculations.

In conclusion, mastering the DOLLAR function will enable you to effectively handle and display financial data in Excel. Its simplicity and usefulness make it an essential tool for anyone working with Excel functions for data analysis.


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