Microsoft Office Tutorials and References

In Depth Information

**Converting Between Measurement Systems**

Converting Between Measurement Systems

You know the distance from New York to London in miles, but your European office needs the

numbers in kilometers. What’s the conversion factor?

The Excel CONVERT function can convert between a variety of measurements in these categories:

h
Weight and mass

h
Distance

h
Time

h
Pressure

h
Force

h
Energy

h
Power

h
Magnetism

h
Temperature

h
Liquid measures

In versions prior to Excel 2007, the CONVERT function required the Analysis ToolPak

add-in. This useful function is now built in, and an add-in is not required.

The CONVERT function requires three arguments: the value to be converted, the from-unit, and

the to-unit. For example, if cell A1 contains a distance expressed in miles, use this formula to

convert miles to kilometers:

=CONVERT(A1,”mi”,”km”)

The second and third arguments are unit abbreviations, which are listed in the Help system. Some

abbreviations are commonly used, but others aren’t. And, of course, you must use the
exact

abbreviation. Furthermore, the unit abbreviations are case sensitive, so the following formula

returns an error:

=CONVERT(A1,”Mi”,”km”)

The CONVERT function is even more versatile than it seems. When using metric units, you can

apply a multiplier. In fact, the first example I presented uses a multiplier. The unit abbreviation

for the third argument is
for meters. I added the kilo-multiplier —
k — to express the result in

kilometers.