To kick off, the VALUE formula in Excel is a function that converts a text string that represents a number to a number. This function can be beneficial when working with cell contents entered as text numbers.
So, what’s the purpose of using the VALUE function? In Excel, it plays a pivotal role when you import data from other sources that are recognized as text by Excel, but you want to treat them as numerical values. It allows for advanced Excel functions for data analysis to operate correctly on these “text” numbers.
The syntax for this useful Excel formula is simple, consisting of just one argument:
The VALUE function takes a single parameter:
- Text (required): The text string that you want to convert to a number.
The VALUE function returns a number represented by the text string.
Remember, the VALUE function only converts text to numbers. It doesn’t work on dates, logical values, or array values.
You’ll find the VALUE function available in all Excel versions.
Let’s look at some examples. Suppose you have a text string “123” that you want to convert to the numeric 123.
This formula returns 123.
Next, consider you have the text string “123.45” and you wish to convert it to the number 123.45.
This formula will return 123.45.
How about converting a currency-formatted text string to a number? If you have “$123.45” and you want to convert it to 123.45:
This formula will return 123.45.
Now, suppose you have the date “12/31/2021” represented as a text string, and you want to convert it to its equivalent Excel serial number for the date.
This formula will return 44561, the Excel serial number for the date “12/31/2021”.
Finally, consider a more complex case. Suppose you have the text string “123 years” and you only want to extract and convert the numeric part to a number.
=VALUE(LEFT("123 years", 3))
This formula will return 123.
Tips and tricks
A great tip for using the VALUE formula is to combine it with other text functions to extract numbers from more complex text strings.
An important limitation is that VALUE only converts text strings that are structured as numbers. If the text string contains non-numerical characters, it will return a #VALUE! error.
Common errors and solutions
A common error when using the VALUE function is a #VALUE! error. This error happens when the text argument can’t be converted into a number. Ensure your input string can be interpreted as a number.
As a best practice, use the VALUE function to convert text to numbers only when necessary. Excel generally handles the conversion automatically.
List of Related functions
Frequently Used with the formulas
You can frequently use the VALUE function with IF, SEARCH, and other Excel functions for more complex data analysis scenarios.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What happens if I use the VALUE function on a non-numeric text string?
Excel will return a #VALUE! error if the text string cannot be converted into a number.
Q. Can the VALUE function handle date formatted text?
Yes, the VALUE function can convert date formatted text strings into Excel serial numbers.
Q. How does VALUE interact with other Excel functions?
You can combine VALUE with other Excel functions to achieve more complex data analysis tasks.
Wrapping it up, the VALUE function is a handy tool in your Excel formula arsenal, particularly when dealing with imported data where numerical values are initially read as text. Its straightforward application and broad compatibility with other Excel functions make it a valuable resource for spreadsheet calculations.
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