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 Strings to Numbers.

Converting Strings to Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 9, 2015)

There are many times when writing macros that you need to convert strings to numbers. You can do this with the Val() function. This function returns the value of a string, up to the first nonnumeric character. The following are examples:

A = Val(MyString)
B = Val("-12345.67")
C = Val("9876")
D = Val("   4     5  2      1")

The first line converts MyString into a value, placing it in A. The second line results in B being set to –12345.67. The third places the value 9876 into C, and the final line sets D equal to 4521. Notice that spaces are ignored in the conversion; this is why the final line works the way it does. You should also note that trying to use formatted numbers in a conversion will confuse the Val() function. Thus, Val("1,234") would not return a value of 1234 (as one might hope), but a value of 1. The conversion stops at the first nonnumeric character, in this case the comma.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2295) 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 Strings to Numbers.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Inserting a Cross-Reference to Text

Cross-referencing is a great feature of Word that allows you to add references to text in various places of your document. ...

Discover More

Updating to Smart Quotes

As you type a document, Word automatically converts your quote marks and apostrophes to "curly" versions that look more ...

Discover More

Cleaning Old Cookie Sheets

Sometimes baked-on stains can be very stubborn to remove from metal cookware. Here are some ideas that may help get rid of ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Functions Within Functions

Functions are the heart of Excel's power. The program allows you to compound that power by handily putting one function ...

Discover More

Working with Roman Numerals

Understanding and using a function to replace an Arabic number with Roman numerals. And, as a bonus, how to change them back.

Discover More

Counting Displayed Cells

When you filter data, Excel displays only a portion of what is really in a worksheet. If you want to count the number of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing
Share