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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 18, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. ...

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