N function

This article describes the formula syntax and usage of the N 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.

Description

Returns a value converted to a number.

Syntax

N(value)

The N function syntax has the following arguments (argument: A value that provides information to an action, an event, a method, a property, a function, or a procedure.):

  • Value    Required. The value you want converted. N converts values listed in the following table.
If value is or refers to N returns
A number That number
A date, in one of the built-in date formats available in Microsoft Excel The serial number of that date
TRUE 1
FALSE 0
An error value, such as #DIV/0! The error value
Anything else 0

Remarks

  • It is not generally necessary to use the N function in a formula, because Excel automatically converts values as necessary. This function is provided for compatibility with other spreadsheet programs.
  • Excel stores dates as sequential serial numbers so they can be used in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008 is serial number 39448 because it is 39,448 days after January 1, 1900.

Example

The example may be easier to understand if you copy it to a blank worksheet.

ShowHow do I copy an example?

  1. Select the example in this article. If you are copying the example in Excel Online, copy and paste one cell at a time.
    Important: Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help

  1. Press CTRL+C.
  2. Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  3. In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V. If you are working in Excel Online, repeat copying and pasting for each cell in the example.
    Important: For the example to work properly, you must paste it into cell A1 of the worksheet.
  4. To switch between viewing the results and viewing the formulas that return the results, press CTRL+` (grave accent), or on the Formulas tab, in the Formula Auditing group, click the Show Formulas button.

After you copy the example to a blank worksheet, you can adapt it to suit your needs.

 
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A B
Data
7
Even
TRUE
4/17/2008
Formula Description (Result)
=N(A2) Because A2 contains a number, it is returned (7)
=N(A3) Because A3 contains text, 0 is returned (0, see above)
=N(A4) Because A4 is the logical value TRUE, 1 is returned (1, see above)
=N(A5) Because A5 is a date, the serial number is returned (varies with the date system used)
=N("7") Because "7" is text, 0 is returned (0, see above)
 
 
Applies to:
Excel 2010, Excel Web App, SharePoint Online for enterprises, SharePoint Online for professionals and small businesses