To begin, let’s understand what UNICODE is. In Excel, UNICODE is a function that returns the Unicode value of the first character in a text string. It’s an essential tool when dealing with different language character sets or symbols.



Next, why do we use the UNICODE formula? It helps us handle diverse character sets efficiently, essential for creating formulas in Excel dealing with global data sets.


The syntax for this advanced Excel function is straightforward, consisting of just one argument:



UNICODE function takes a single parameter:

  • Text (required): The text for which you want to get the Unicode value.


UNICODE formula returns a number that corresponds to the Unicode value of the first character in the text string provided.

Usage notes

When using the UNICODE function, remember, it only considers the first character of the string. It’s often used with other Excel functions for data analysis to handle character-level manipulations.


UNICODE function is available in Excel 2013 and later versions.

Example #1

Let’s dive into some examples to see how this works. Consider we want to get the Unicode value for the character “A”. We would use the formula:


The formula will return 65, which is the Unicode value for “A”.

Example #2

Next, let’s determine the Unicode value for a lowercase “a”. The formula would be:


The return value will be 97.

Example #3

To illustrate the importance of the UNICODE function in dealing with different languages, let’s find the Unicode value for the Greek letter “α” (alpha).


This formula will return 945, the Unicode value for the Greek letter alpha.

Example #4

For an emoji, let’s try the Unicode value of the emoji “😀”.


This formula returns 128512, the Unicode value of the smiley face emoji.

Example #5

Lastly, if you enter a number or a symbol such as “#”, the UNICODE function will still return its Unicode value.


The formula will return 35, the Unicode value for “#”.

Tips and tricks

It’s handy to use the UNICODE function in combination with other text manipulation functions in Excel. For instance, you can combine it with MID or LEFT to get Unicode values for different characters in a string.


One key limitation is that UNICODE only considers the first character of the string. Also, be mindful that not all Unicode characters display correctly in Excel, depending on the version and system settings.

Common errors and solutions

A common error is a #VALUE! error, which occurs when the input text string is empty. Make sure your input string is valid and contains at least one character.

Best Practices

For efficient use of the UNICODE function, always check the validity of the text string before application. You can use it in conjunction with error handling functions like IFERROR to manage errors.

List of Related functions

UNICODE is closely related to functions like UNICHAR, CHAR, CODE, MID, and LEFT. They’re all useful Excel formulas for text manipulation and data analysis.

Frequently Used with the formulas

UNICODE can be used with IF, LEN, MID and other text functions to create more advanced data analysis tools and solutions in Excel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What happens if I input an empty string?

Excel will return a #VALUE! error if the text string is empty.

Q. Can I use UNICODE for a full string of text?

UNICODE function only considers the first character of the string.

Q. Can UNICODE handle symbols and emojis?

Absolutely! UNICODE can return the Unicode value for symbols and emojis.

With the UNICODE function, you can create more effective Excel formulas and elevate your data analysis to a new level. By mastering this function, you can make your Excel calculations more flexible and precise, especially when dealing with international data sets.

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