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 From Numbers to Text.

Converting From Numbers to Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 4, 2014)

Jocelyn asked if there is a way to easily convert numbers to their text equivalent. For instance, to convert the numeric value 6789 to the text digits "6789."

There are multiple ways that you can approach this problem. One way is to simply specify to Excel that the cells should be treated as text. Display the Format Cells dialog box and then on the Number tab make sure that Text is selected. Any selected cells are then formatted as if they were text, and are moved to the left side of their cells (unless you have some other alignment format specified).

The applicability of this solution, however, depends on the version of Excel you are using. In some versions it will work as described here, but in others it may not. There is another thing you can try, however:

  1. Select the cells you want to convert.
  2. Choose Cells from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box. (To display the dialog box in Excel 2007, display the Home tab of the ribbon, click Format in the Cells group, and then choose Format Cells.)
  3. Make sure the Number tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  5. In the list of formatting Categories, choose Text.
  6. Click on OK.
  7. Press Ctrl+C. This copies the cells you selected in step 1.
  8. Choose Paste Special from the Edit menu. Excel displays the Paste Special dialog box.
  9. Choose the Values radio button.
  10. Click on OK.

Another thing you can do is to use the TEXT worksheet function. Let's say you have the value 6789 in cell A7. In cell B7 you could place the following:

=TEXT(A1, "#,##0.00")

This usage of TEXT results in a text digits that have the thousands separator in the right place and two digits to the right of the decimal point, as in "6,789.00". You can specify, as the second parameter to TEXT, any formatting desired. If you want the number converted to text without any special formatting, you can use the following:

=TEXT(A1, "0")

The result is the textual equivalent of an integer value.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2680) 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 From Numbers to Text.

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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