ARABIC function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the ARABIC function (function: A prewritten formula that takes a value or values, performs an operation, and returns a value or values. Use functions to simplify and shorten formulas on a worksheet, especially those that perform lengthy or complex calculations.) 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.


The workbook below shows examples of this function. Inspect them, change existing formulas, or enter your own formulas to learn how the function works.

To work more in-depth with the example data in Excel, download the embedded workbook to your computer, and then open it in Excel.

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Applies to:
Excel 2013, Excel Online