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: Combining Numbers and Text in a Cell.

Combining Numbers and Text in a Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 8, 2021)

Many times I want a description for my data. One approach is to put the description—a simple text string—near the cell containing the data that needs describing. For instance, a numeric value could go in cell B3, and the unit description in cell C3, which read together may be something like "3.27 miles."

Another approach is to put the description text and the numeric value together. Creating text strings easily accomplishes this feat. Here's a very simple example that displays "1 + 1 is 2."

="1 + 1 is " & 1+1

The quotation marks are important. By making the text string part of a formula, you can combine the description and the value within one cell.

The disadvantage of this approach is formatting the value takes more effort; since the result is a text string, numeric cell formatting does not apply. For example, consider the above formula and the need to display two decimal places. One might naturally display the Format Cell dialog box and then choose a Number format that has two decimal places, but the results would not change. (Remember, the result of the formula is text, not a number.)

To affect the value formatting, use the TEXT function. To force the above results to display the value to two decimal places, use the following formula.

="1 + 1 is " & TEXT(1+1, "0.00")

The different formats you can use with the TEXT function have been covered in other issues of ExcelTips, and you can also find more info in Excel's Help system. Here's an example that displays "Today is " along with today's date. Enter the following formula in some cell:

="Today is " & TEXT(NOW(),"dddd, mmm dd, yyyy") 

Again, the quotation marks are important, as you are constructing a text string.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2582) 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: Combining Numbers and Text in 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

Aligning Borders with the Page Margins

Add a border to a paragraph and you may find that it extends to the left and right of the regular text margins. To pull ...

Discover More

Drawing Lines

Lines are one of the most common graphic elements to be added to documents. Here's how you can add the lines you want.

Discover More

Multiple Taskbar Icons for Documents

If you like to see your open documents in multiple icons on the Taskbar, you may wonder how to make that happen. This is ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adding Ordinal Notation to Dates

Want to add an ordinal suffix to a number, as in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th? Excel doesn't provide a way to do it automatically, ...

Discover More

Summing Based on Part of the Information in a Cell

Excel provides a variety of tools that allow you to perform operations on your data based upon the characteristics of ...

Discover More

Character Replacement in Simple Formulas

Do you see some small rectangular boxes appearing in your formula results? It could be because Excel is substituting that ...

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.