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 Text to Numbers.

Converting Text to Numbers

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 18, 2021)

If you are using Excel to grab information from an external source, it is possible that you could end up with some pretty strange information in your cells. For instance, let's say that you have cells that contain numbers such as 1,234.5-. These are formatted as text cells in Excel, and therefore cannot be used in calculations.

The following macro will check the cells in a selected range. If the cells contain text, and that text ends in a minus sign, the macro will move the minus sign to the beginning of the text and stuff it back into the cell. The result is that the cell is converted from a text value to the proper numeric value.

Sub ConvToNum()
    Dim MyText As Variant
    Dim MyRange As Range
    Dim CellCount As Integer

    Set MyRange = ActiveSheet.Range(ActiveWindow.Selection.Address)
    For CellCount = 1 To MyRange.Cells.Count
        MyText = MyRange.Cells(CellCount).Value
        If VarType(MyText) = vbString Then
            MyText = Trim(MyText)
            If Right(MyText, 1) = "-" Then
                MyText = "-" & Left(MyText, Len(MyText) - 1)
                MyRange.Cells(CellCount).Value = MyText
            End If
        End If
    Next CellCount
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2300) 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 Text 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

Moving Through a Table in a Macro

Do you need to step through a table, cell by cell, in a macro? It's easy to do using the Move method, as described in ...

Discover More

Splitting Information into Rows

Got too much information in a single cell? Here's how you can use a macro to pull apart that information and put it into ...

Discover More

Generating a List of Dates

When creating tracking documents in Word, you may need to come up with a series of dates in the document. You can type ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Combinations for Members in Meetings

Got a large group of people listed in a worksheet and you want to make sure that each person has met with every other ...

Discover More

Displaying the "Last Modified" Date

Want to know when a workbook was last modified? Want to put that date within the header of your worksheet? Here's how to ...

Discover More

Friendly and Informative Error Handling

When creating macros, it is helpful to know what is going on within the macro itself in case an error crops up. Here's ...

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

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 7?

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.

Newest Tips
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.