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Converting to Hexadecimal

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Converting to Hexadecimal.

If you do any programming, you know how important hexadecimal numbers are. Hexadecimal numbers are used to represent values that can be easily understood by both humans and programming languages. In the hexadecimal numbering system, each digit can vary between 0 and F. Thus, 0 through 9 are the same as in our decimal numbering system, and A through F are converted to 10 through 15 in decimal.

How can Excel help with hexadecimal numbers? It includes a worksheet function that allows you to easily convert a number from decimal to hexadecimal. For instance, let's say you have a decimal value in E3. If you wanted to know the hexadecimal equivalent, you would use the following:


If the value in E3 was 123, the result of the above formula would be 7B. The DEC2HEX worksheet function can be used to convert any decimal values between -549,755,813,888 and 549,755,813,887.

Once the conversion is done, the value in the cell is considered text. This means that you cannot use the results of DEC2HEX in a numeric formula.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2308) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Converting to Hexadecimal.

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Comments for this tip:

Andrew Burton    28 Aug 2014, 19:02
This is a great tutorial, it neglects one important thing:

If DEC2HEX is not available, you will have to install an add-in pack:

 - Click "Tools" on the drop-down menu
 - Click on "Add-Ins..."
 - Select the checkbox beside "Analysis Toolpack"
 - You will now be prompted for the Microsoft Office installer disc.
 - Insert the disc and click "Ok"
 - DEC2HEX (and other functions) will now be available.

NB: This was for Excel 2000. Other versions may have a slightly different installation procedure.
Eric Richards    25 Aug 2014, 14:24
While this is a great tutorial, and a easy to remember function.

You can also use the BASE function, for example

=BASE(255;16;4) will give you 00FF
=BASE(255;8;4) will give you Octal 0377

However I have not tested to see if the Hexadecimal result is considered as text.


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