Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

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TEXT TO NUMBERS

You can use formulas to perform complex calculations

quickly and accurately on numbers, dates, or times.

Sometimes, however, your numbers look like numbers

but are, in fact, text — mere characters. If a number

is left-aligned in a cell, it is probably text; true

numbers, by default, are right-aligned.

In Excel, text and numbers are different data types.

You should use numbers, but not text, in mathematical

formulas and functions. Trying to include text in a

mathematical calculation results in an error.

You can address the problem in several ways. You

can use the Format Cells dialog box to reformat the

text cells to numbers, but this method does not

always work. A more reliable technique is to multiply

each numeral by 1 to convert the data type from text

to a number.

The numbers-as-text problem often occurs when you

import data from another application — for example,

an external database such as Access. Chapter 9

covers importing data in detail.

Note:
The left-aligned numbers

in this task are really text. In Excel,

the default position for numbers is

the right side of the cell.

You cannot calculate the average;

Excel displays a #DIV/0! error.

l

1

Type
1
into any neighboring cell.

2

3

2

Click the Home tab.

3

Click the Copy button.

1

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