Turn text into numbers in Excel

Applies to
Microsoft Excel 2000

When numbers are aligned to the left in cells, and you haven't formatted the cells that way, Microsoft Excel is interpreting the numbers as text. To perform calculations in Excel, you'll need to store these text values as numbers. Excel Help provides a method for converting text values to numbers, but if you have a large amount of such data, here's a quick way to convert it.

  1. On a blank worksheet, enter a formula using the VALUE worksheet function to get the value in the first text cell. For instance, if the first text cell is A1 on Sheet1, you could enter =VALUE(Sheet1!A1) in cell A1 on Sheet2.
  2. Use the fill handle to copy this formula down and across until you've extracted the number values from all the cells.

Fill handle

  1. Finally, with all of the cells on Sheet2 where you extracted values from Sheet1 selected, click the Copy button, click Paste Special on the Edit menu, and then click Values.