Excel Tutorial: How To Mass Convert To Number In Excel


Converting data to numbers in Excel is a crucial step in data analysis and manipulation. Whether you are working with imported data, or data that has been entered as text, converting to numbers is essential for performing calculations, creating charts, and generating insights. In this Excel tutorial, we will outline the key steps to mass convert text to numbers in your spreadsheet, saving you time and ensuring accuracy in your data analysis.

A. Briefly explain the importance of converting data to numbers in Excel

  • Ability to perform calculations
  • Creating accurate charts and graphs
  • Improving data accuracy

B. Outline the key steps of the tutorial

  1. Select the range of cells with text data
  2. Use the Data tab to convert to numbers
  3. Verify the conversion and ensure accuracy

Key Takeaways

  • Converting data to numbers in Excel is essential for performing calculations, creating charts, and ensuring data accuracy.
  • Identifying non-numeric data in Excel is crucial for accurate data analysis and manipulation.
  • The VALUE function and Paste Special feature are useful tools for converting non-numeric data to numbers in Excel.
  • Automating the conversion process using macros can save time and improve efficiency in data analysis.
  • Validating converted data is important for ensuring accuracy and consistency in the data analysis process.

Importance of Converting to Number

Converting data to a number format is essential for accurate analysis and calculations in Excel. When data is not in a numeric format, it can have a significant impact on the accuracy of calculations and the functionality of formulas.

A. Impact of Having Non-Numeric Data in Number Formats
  • Incorrect calculations: When non-numeric data is present in number formats, it can lead to incorrect calculations. For example, if a cell contains a numerical value represented as text, it will not be included in calculations.
  • Data validation issues: Non-numeric data in number formats can cause data validation errors, making it difficult to identify and correct inconsistencies in the data.
  • Charting and graphing problems: Non-numeric data can affect the accuracy of charts and graphs, leading to misleading visual representations of the data.

B. Limitations of Performing Calculations on Non-Numeric Data
  • Function errors: Certain Excel functions and formulas may not work properly with non-numeric data, leading to errors in calculations.
  • Data manipulation challenges: Non-numeric data can hinder the ability to manipulate and analyze data effectively, resulting in inefficiencies in data processing.
  • Data integration difficulties: When working with external data sources or integrating data from different systems, non-numeric data in number formats can complicate the integration process.

Identifying Non-Numeric Data

When working with data in Excel, it's important to ensure that all your numeric data is formatted correctly. However, sometimes data can be mistakenly entered as non-numeric, which can cause issues when performing calculations or analysis. In this tutorial, we'll go over how to identify non-numeric data in Excel.

A. Provide examples of non-numeric data in Excel
  • Text: Text entries such as names, descriptions, or labels are considered non-numeric data.
  • Special Characters: Any special characters, symbols, or punctuation marks are also non-numeric.
  • Errors and Formulas: Excel errors such as #DIV/0! or #VALUE! and formulas that result in non-numeric values are considered non-numeric data.

B. Explain how to use Excel's built-in functions to identify non-numeric data
  • ISNUMBER Function: The ISNUMBER function can be used to identify whether a cell contains a number or not. It returns TRUE if the cell contains a number and FALSE if it doesn't.
  • ISNONTEXT Function: The ISNONTEXT function can be used to identify whether a cell contains text or not. It returns TRUE if the cell does not contain any text and FALSE if it does.
  • Conditional Formatting: Conditional formatting can be applied to highlight non-numeric data in a range of cells, making it easier to identify and correct.

Converting Non-Numeric Data to Numbers

When dealing with data in Excel, it is common to encounter non-numeric data that needs to be converted to numbers. This can be a tedious task if done manually, but fortunately, Excel provides some handy features and functions to help with this process.

Demonstrate the use of the VALUE function to convert text to numbers

The VALUE function in Excel is a useful tool for converting text that represents numbers into actual numeric values. To use the VALUE function, simply enter =VALUE(cell_reference) into a blank cell where you want the numeric value to appear. Replace cell_reference with the reference of the cell containing the text you want to convert.

  • Example: If cell A1 contains the text "123", entering =VALUE(A1) in another cell will return the numeric value 123.
  • Caution: It is important to note that the VALUE function may return an error if the text in the referenced cell cannot be converted to a number.

Explain how to use the Paste Special feature to convert non-numeric data to numbers

Another method to convert non-numeric data to numbers in Excel is to use the Paste Special feature. This feature allows you to perform various operations on the copied data, including converting text to numbers.

  • Select the range of cells containing the non-numeric data that you want to convert to numbers.
  • Right-click and choose Copy or press Ctrl+C to copy the selected data.
  • Right-click on a blank area where you want to paste the converted data and choose Paste Special.
  • In the Paste Special dialog box, select Values and click OK.

By following these steps, the non-numeric data will be pasted as numbers, allowing you to work with them as numeric values in your Excel spreadsheet.

Automating the Conversion Process

When working with large datasets in Excel, it is often necessary to convert a large number of cells from text to numbers. This can be a time-consuming process if done manually, but with the use of macros, it can be automated to save time and effort. In this tutorial, we will delve into how to use macros to mass convert cells to numbers in Excel.

A. Introduce the use of macros to automate the conversion process

Macros are a series of commands and functions that are stored in a single file and can be run whenever needed. In the context of Excel, macros can be used to automate repetitive tasks, including the mass conversion of cells. By recording a series of steps and then running them as a macro, you can quickly and easily convert a large number of cells to numbers.

B. Provide step-by-step instructions on creating a macro for mass conversion

Step 1: Open the Excel Workbook

First, open the Excel workbook in which you need to perform the mass conversion. Make sure the data you want to convert is in a format that needs to be converted to numbers.

Step 2: Record a Macro

To record a macro, go to the "View" tab and click on "Macros" in the "Macros" group. Then, select "Record Macro." A dialog box will appear where you can name your macro and assign a shortcut key if desired.

Step 3: Perform the Conversion

Now, perform the conversion process that you want to automate. This may involve selecting the cells, using the "Text to Columns" feature, or any other method for converting text to numbers. Once you have completed the conversion, go back to the "Macros" menu and click "Stop Recording."

Step 4: Run the Macro

To run the macro, go to the "View" tab and click on "Macros" in the "Macros" group. Then, select the macro you just recorded and click "Run." The macro will now perform the same conversion process on the selected cells, automating the mass conversion to numbers.

Tips for Data Validation

When mass converting data to number in Excel, it’s important to ensure that the converted data is valid and accurate. Here are some best practices and tips for validating and maintaining the integrity of the converted data:

A. Discuss best practices for validating converted data
  • Use data validation tools: Excel offers various data validation tools, such as Data Validation and Text to Columns, which can help you identify and correct any errors in the converted data.
  • Check for errors: After converting the data to numbers, carefully review the cells to identify any errors or inconsistencies, such as leading or trailing spaces, non-numeric characters, or incorrect formatting.
  • Use custom formulas: Create custom formulas to validate the converted data, such as checking for duplicates, outliers, or unexpected values, to ensure the accuracy of the data.
  • Utilize conditional formatting: Apply conditional formatting to highlight any discrepancies or outliers in the converted data, making it easier to identify and address any issues.

B. Provide tips for ensuring accuracy and consistency in the converted data
  • Standardize the format: Ensure that the converted numbers are formatted consistently, using the same number of decimal places and following a standard format to maintain accuracy and consistency.
  • Handle errors and outliers: Identify and address any errors or outliers in the converted data, such as replacing blank cells with zeros or using functions like TRIM and CLEAN to remove unwanted characters.
  • Document the conversion process: Keep a record of the steps taken to convert the data to numbers, including any adjustments or corrections made, to maintain transparency and provide a reference for future validation.
  • Regularly audit the data: Periodically review and audit the converted data to ensure that it remains accurate and up-to-date, making any necessary adjustments or corrections as needed.


In this tutorial, we learned how to mass convert text to numbers in Excel using various methods such as the Text to Columns feature, the VALUE function, and the Paste Special option. We also explored the importance of converting text to numbers for accurate data analysis and calculations in Excel.

We encourage our readers to practice the methods demonstrated in this tutorial and explore advanced features for data manipulation in Excel. By mastering these skills, you can improve the accuracy and efficiency of your data analysis tasks and become more proficient in using Excel for various projects and tasks.

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