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: Determining a Value of a Cell.

Determining a Value of a Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 16, 2013)

You already know that a cell in a worksheet can contain any number of different items: numbers, dates, formulas, and so on. There may be times when you want to determine the underlying value in a cell, without regard to the way the cell is formatted. For this need, Excel provides the N worksheet function. For instance, let's assume that cell F17 contains a date. If you use = N(F17) as your formula, the value returned by the formula is the underlying serial number used for the date.

Besides returning date serial numbers, the N worksheet function returns a number if the referenced value or cell can be resolved to a number, a 1 if the value or cell can be resolved to the logical value True, and a 0 for anything else. The following provides a few examples of how the N worksheet function works:

Value in F17 Returned by = N(F17)
3/11/99 36230
37.14 37.14
TRUE 1
Quarter 1 0
5:40 0.236111

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2320) 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: Determining a Value of a Cell.

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

Replacing Spaces in Part Numbers with Dashes

Word has a power capability to search for information and then replace that information in some way. Finding the right method ...

Discover More

How Word Treats Normal.dot

Templates are at the core of how Word creates and formats documents. From the earliest days of Word, the most basic of ...

Discover More

Moving and Selecting Rows

If you need to move down a row and then select that row, you may wonder if there is a shortcut to handle such a navigation ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Getting the Name of the Parent Workbook

If you need to insert into a cell the name of the workbook in which a worksheet is contained, you can use the CELL function. ...

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:

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. 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 9 + 8?

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


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.

Links and Sharing
Share