Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
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.
Type 1 into any neighboring cell.
Click the Home tab.
Click the Copy button.