Excel Tutorial: How To Convert Numbers To Excel

Introduction


Converting numbers to Excel is an essential skill for anyone working with data. Whether you're a student, a professional, or someone managing personal finances, knowing how to input numerical data into Excel can streamline your work and make data analysis much easier. In this tutorial, we will preview the steps involved in converting numbers to Excel, helping you master this important skill.


Key Takeaways


  • Converting numbers to Excel is essential for efficient data management and analysis.
  • Understanding different number formats in Excel can greatly impact how data is displayed.
  • Using functions like VALUE and TEXT can help convert text to numbers and numbers to text in Excel.
  • Special number formats like scientific notation and percentages require specific handling in Excel.
  • Custom number formats can be created in Excel to meet specific formatting needs.


Understanding number formats in Excel


When working with numbers in Excel, it's important to understand the different types of number formats and how they affect the display of numbers in a spreadsheet.

A. Different types of number formats in Excel


  • General: This is the default format for numbers in Excel. It displays numbers as they are entered, without any specific formatting.
  • Number: This format is used for general numeric values. It allows you to specify the number of decimal places, as well as the use of a thousands separator.
  • Currency: This format is used for monetary values. It displays a currency symbol, as well as the specified number of decimal places.
  • Date: This format is used for date values. It allows you to specify the date format, such as month/day/year or day/month/year.
  • Percentage: This format is used to display numbers as percentages. It multiplies the number by 100 and displays it with a percentage symbol.

B. How these formats affect the display of numbers in a spreadsheet


The choice of number format in Excel affects how numbers are displayed in a spreadsheet. For example, using the currency format will display a dollar sign and the specified number of decimal places for monetary values. Using the date format will display the date in the specified format.

It's important to choose the appropriate number format to ensure that your data is displayed accurately and clearly in Excel.


Converting text to numbers in Excel


Converting text to numbers in Excel can be a useful skill to have, especially when dealing with data that has been imported from another source or contains extra characters or spaces. In this tutorial, we will look at two methods for converting text to numbers in Excel.

A. Using the VALUE function to convert text to numbers


The VALUE function in Excel is a handy tool for converting text that appears as numbers into actual numerical values. This function can be used to convert text to numbers, making it easier to perform mathematical operations and analysis on the data.

  • First, select the cell or range of cells containing the text that you want to convert to numbers.
  • Next, enter the formula =VALUE(text) in a blank cell, where "text" is the cell containing the text you want to convert.
  • Press Enter to apply the formula, and the text will be converted to a numerical value.

B. Dealing with text that includes extra characters or spaces


Sometimes, the text that you want to convert to numbers may include extra characters or spaces that can interfere with the conversion process. In such cases, you can use the TRIM and SUBSTITUTE functions to clean the data before converting it to numbers.

  • The TRIM function can be used to remove any leading or trailing spaces from the text, ensuring that the conversion process is smooth.
  • The SUBSTITUTE function can be used to remove any extra characters, such as currency symbols or commas, that may be present in the text.
  • Once the data has been cleaned using these functions, you can then proceed to use the VALUE function to convert the text to numbers as described in the previous section.


Converting numbers to text in Excel


When working with Excel, you may come across the need to convert numbers to text for various reasons. Whether it's for display purposes or to adhere to specific formatting requirements, Excel provides several methods to convert numbers to text.

A. Using the TEXT function to convert numbers to text


The TEXT function in Excel allows you to convert a numeric value to text and specify the formatting of the resulting text. This function is particularly useful when you want to display numbers as text with a specific format, such as currency symbols, decimals, or leading zeros.

  • Start by selecting the cell where you want the converted text to appear.
  • Enter the formula =TEXT(value, format_text) into the selected cell, replacing value with the numeric value you want to convert and format_text with the desired format for the text output.
  • Press Enter to apply the formula and convert the number to text with the specified formatting.

B. Formatting options when converting numbers to text


When converting numbers to text in Excel, you have various formatting options to customize the appearance of the resulting text. These options allow you to control the display of the text, such as adding currency symbols, specifying decimal places, or including leading zeros.

  • Currency format: Use the "$" symbol in the format_text parameter of the TEXT function to display the number as currency.
  • Decimal places: Specify the number of decimal places in the format_text parameter to control the precision of the text output.
  • Leading zeros: Use custom formatting codes to include leading zeros in the converted text, ensuring consistent formatting across different values.


Handling special number formats in Excel


When working with numbers in Excel, you may come across special number formats such as scientific notation and percentage formatting. Here’s how to handle them:

A. Converting scientific notation to regular numbers
  • Identify cells with scientific notation


  • In Excel, scientific notation is used to represent very large or very small numbers. Cells with scientific notation will display numbers in the format of x.xxE+x, where x.xxE represents the coefficient and +x represents the exponent.

  • Convert scientific notation to regular numbers


  • To convert scientific notation to regular numbers, you can simply change the cell format. Select the cells containing the scientific notation, right-click, and choose "Format Cells." Then, select "Number" from the Category list and set the appropriate number of decimal places.


B. Dealing with percentage formatting in Excel
  • Changing cell format to percentage


  • If you have numbers in regular format that you want to convert to percentages, select the cells, right-click, and choose "Format Cells." Then, select "Percentage" from the Category list. This will automatically convert the numbers to percentages.

  • Converting percentages to regular numbers


  • If you need to convert percentages back to regular numbers, you can simply change the cell format by selecting the cells, right-clicking, and choosing "Format Cells." Then, select "Number" from the Category list. This will revert the percentages back to regular numbers.



Applying custom number formats in Excel


When working with numbers in Excel, it’s important to know how to apply custom number formats to meet specific needs. Understanding how to use custom number format codes and creating custom formats for specific needs, such as phone numbers or postal codes, can help you present your data in a clear and professional manner.

Understanding custom number format codes


Custom number format codes in Excel allow you to display numbers in a specific way by using a combination of symbols, such as 0, #, and %. These codes provide a flexible way to format numbers without changing their actual values. For example, you can use custom number format codes to display numbers as currency, percentages, fractions, or in a specific date format.

Creating custom formats for specific needs, such as phone numbers or postal codes


Excel’s custom number format feature also allows you to create custom formats for specific needs, such as phone numbers or postal codes. By using custom number format codes, you can ensure that phone numbers are displayed in a consistent format, with the appropriate area code and number of digits. Similarly, you can use custom number formats to display postal codes in a standardized format, such as adding a hyphen between the first and second halves of a postal code.


Conclusion


In conclusion, this tutorial has taught you how to convert numbers to Excel using various formatting options such as date, currency, and percentage. It's important to remember to select the correct cells and then utilize the 'Format Cells' feature to change the number format. By doing so, you can ensure that your data is presented accurately and professionally within your Excel spreadsheets.

As you continue to explore Excel's number formatting capabilities, you will discover even more ways to customize the appearance of your data. Whether it's adding decimal places, displaying negative numbers in red, or using custom formats, Excel offers a wide range of options to suit your needs. Don't hesitate to experiment and discover the full potential of Excel's number formatting for your future spreadsheet projects.

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