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. ...

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